The Moment That Cancel Culture Was Born?
It was when a Stanford University professor espoused a theory that became a best selling book, "The No Assholes Rule."
Academia has shifted radically to the left in recent years and I think I know a source of the virus.
No, it wasn’t the Wuhan lab.
Stanford Professor Robert I. Sutton was quoted in an essay for Harvard Business Review in 2004 as “imploring us not to tolerate bad people - even if they bring in good money.” That theory morphed into his 2007 bestselling book, “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.”'
Sutton’s book was couched as an anti-bullying tract but it also provided a roadmap for uniformity of thought. (This may not have been Sutton’s goal but… there it is.)
Sutton writes that he first heard of the “no asshole rule” during a faculty meeting at Stanford where the chairperson proposed hiring a renowned researcher as a new faculty member. Someone responded, “Listen, I don’t care if that guy won the Nobel Prize… I just don’t want any assholes ruining our group.” Thereafter, writes Sutton, when discussing whether to hire faculty, “it was legitimate for any of us to question the decision by asking: ‘The candidate seems smart, but would this hire violate our no asshole rule?’”
Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford, contends the “no asshole rule” made his department a better place to work.
Crossing The Line
There is a fine line between perceiving someone to be a “jerk,” “weasel” or “bully,” and disliking them because they voted for Trump, don’t think trans “women” who are biological men should play on female sports teams, or insist that books containing porn don’t belong in an elementary school library.
Sutton says an “asshole” makes you feel “oppressed,” “humiliated,” “de-energized” or “belittled.”
It is not a stretch to say that many Blacks will feel “oppressed” when a co-worker disagrees about affirmative action or critical race theory. It is much easier to just not hire these contrary folks.
Translation: Nirvana is a workplace devoid of people who disagree with you about social and political issues.
On Friday, Sutton disagreed that his book contributes to uniformity of thought in academia. “Doesn’t feel very uniform to me, we sure argue about all sorts of stuff, and at Stanford have many liberals, moderates, and also Hoover, a leading conservative think tank. Academic freedom and tenure work,” he said.
However, it is widely acknowledged that cancel culture is threatening free speech at many American colleges and universities.
The Harvard Crimson recently surveyed the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences on a range of issues, including academic freedom and race-conscious admission policies. It is an understatement to say the faculty does not mirror the American public.
Here’s how the faculty identified itself: