Too Bad It Wasn’t Beyond Tolerance Tuesday…

As we’ve seen at Berkeley this week and now at U.C. Davis, we have administrators who both want to be liberal and also, you know, permit the police to pepper spray UC students. One pictures the following life itinerary: in the 60s/early 70s, you battled the man, then you got a teaching post, then worked your way up the administrative ladder, then wanted to still talk like you’re battling the man, even if you are the entrenched power calling in the police.

Chancellor Linda P.B. Kahtel’s most well known initiative to date was her “civility project,” which includes “Beyond Tolerance Tuesday” (that just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) The Wendy Brown critique just writes itself, doesn’t it?

But the bigger picture is this: we have seen in the “no touch torture” and water boarding discussions of the mid-aughts how American leaders talk like sadistic, abusive husbands: as long as it doesn’t leave a mark, it’s apparently okay. Thus we get the pepper spraying and then, of course, the protesters are “resisting” and out come the batons…


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