UCT is at an academic existential precipice on the verge of making a ‘Great Leap Forward’. ‘She’ is potentially being ruined by an unaccountable cabal of racially, self-proclaimed-victimized and other-identity-focused, decolonist Fallist students and academics and social engineers with no track record of success. What ‘unites’ them is that they have no coherent plan for success (academic or otherwise) and have abandoned the pursuit of objectivity, truth and the independence of the mind. In their relentless endeavors, they were assisted by a large, still growing, highly-salaried and powerful centralized bureaucracy. Together, they project a uniformist, nativized dogma of ethnic-gender-fluidly/sexual-political “diversity” and “inclusivity” portrayed as education ideals that they claim overwhelm internationally recognized and multi-tested concepts of academic excellence and originality. Fallists achieve their goals by academically unjustifiable manipulation of student admissions, hiring and promotion of faculty and curriculum change sensu lato – marketed as “decolonization” and/or “affirmative action”. The academic result is the replacement of rationality and logic with perception, sentiment and belief.
Repudiation, let alone criticism or scrutiny, of this ‘new-think’ is anathema. Cadre who stray from the ‘safe’ boundaries of decoloniality (even professors, deans and deputy vice-chancellors) are ostracized or worse. Those linked to the previously ‘privileged oppressors’ who attempt to integrate the ideas of the still ‘oppressed’ with theirs are perniciously condemned as “racist appropriators”. Group solidarity is paramount. Seeking a role as a leader or individual thinker, or just roaming away from the collective opinion, is reviled and, if necessary, punished. Evidence-based debate is superseded by defamation and intimidation. There cannot be authority without some link to victimization or, in its absence, “invisible violence” and/or “micro-aggression”. What once were peaks in the academically adaptive landscape are now portrayed as outmoded, unjustly defended “silos” of authoritarianism. If this pursuit of decolonized collective thinking continues, the University of Cape Town will cease to be an academic island of ‘higher education’ with a culture of challenging dogma, promoting self-reliance and independent thinking seeking elusive excellence and truth. In short, it seems to aspire to become a narrow-minded breeding ground for despots – not democrats.
On the other hand, if the new, self-critical Executive Lekgotla wins the minds and not just the hearts of UCT’s community as a WHOLE (and not a warren of ‘hateful holes’), a revitalized institution that addresses past grievances with innovative thinking can emerge and those whose professional existence depends on the perpetuation of race-thinking, racism, sexism, genderism and other nefarious ‘isms’ can become historians.
Then ‘Jim Crow’ can be correctly remembered as an eminent American professor of theoretical genetics and president of both the Genetics Society of America and the American Society of Human Genetics who extended the neutral theory of molecular evolution. He believed that cultural evolution should rather be seen as an accumulation of human assets that gradually improve productivity and allow individuals to learn, master and create. Also, for many years played viola for the Madison Symphony Orchestra . He was not a white, black-faced, performing minstrel who caricatured a clumsy, dimwitted black slave.
For more comprehensive exposition of Tim Crowe’s views on what’s happened and happing at UCT visit his Blog Site (timguineacrowe.blogspot.co.za) or simply ‘Google’ his public intellectual pieces – Tim Crowe Rational Standard.
Jim Crow – minstrel
James Crow – geneticist
Tim Crowe – evolutionary ornithologist
with ‘races’ of Helmeted Guineafowl
Fallists have repeatedly referred to him as “Jim Crow”