Sarah Jeong Is a Boring, Typical Product of the American Academy

Sarah Jeong Is a Boring, Typical Product of the American Academy, by Heather MacDonald.

The most significant feature of Sarah Jeong, the New York Times’ embattled new editorial board member, is not that she is a “racist,” as her critics put it. It is that she is an entirely typical product of the contemporary academy.

After the New York Times announced Jeong’s hire in early August, web sleuths dug out a mother lode of tweets demonstrating an obsession with whites. Samples include “white men are [bullsh**],” “#cancelwhitepeople,” “National/ Pretty goddam white/ Radio,” “I’m tired of being mad about white dudes. I’m going to pretend they don’t exist for a week,” and “I figured it out. Powerful white women automatically receive officer status in Club Feminism. Unless they disavow.”

Both the Times and Jeong blamed her posts on . . . you guessed, it, whites. Her status as a “young Asian woman,” in the Times’ words, made her a subject of frequent online harassment, to which she responded “for a period of time” by “imitating the rhetoric of her harassers.”

This argument was, to borrow a phrase, bullsh**. Jeong’s five-year tweet trail is much longer than a mere “period of time” during which she allegedly experimented with counter-trolling. But most important, her tweets are not imitative of anything other than the ideology that now rules the higher-education establishment, including UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School, both of which Jeong attended. And that ideology is taking over non-academic institutions, whether in journalism, publishing, the tech sector, or the rest of corporate America.

Sarah Jeong’s tweets and blog posts are just a marker of the world we already live in.

The key features of Jeong’s worldview are an obsession with whiteness and its alleged sins; a commitment to the claim that we live in a rape culture; and a sneering contempt for objectivity and truth-seeking. These are central tenets of academic victimology.

From the moment freshmen arrive on a college campus, they are inundated by the message that they are either the bearers of white privilege or its victims. College presidents and the metastasizing diversity bureaucracy teach students to see racism where none exists, preposterously accusing their own institutions of systemic bias. “Bias response teams,” confidential “discrimination hotlines,” and implicit-bias training for faculty and staff roll forth from university coffers in wild abandon. …

Truth and objectivity get the ol’ heave-ho:

The credo of the campus rape movement is: “Believe unconditionally,” as New York University’s Wellness Exchange puts it. Jeong takes that credo to heart. “The more I see these ‘inconsistencies’ and ‘discrepancies’ [in the Rolling Stone story] touted as evidence of falsehood, the more convinced I am that Jackie is not lying,” Jeong writes. She sneers at such “mundanities” as dates and times that refute Jackie’s narrative, a remarkable stance, one might think, for a journalist.

Jeong deploys a coy, warmed-over postmodernism to buttress her refusal to accept facts. “They own the words [‘they’ are presumably white males]. They own the law. They own reality or at least what everyone acknowledges as reality. They own the Truth™, the Truth that makes up how we understand our society.” Another of those anti-feminist “Truths™” that Jeong, in her Foucauldian mode, dismisses is “what happened with the Duke Lacrosse players” (falsely accused of raping a black stripper).