by Joseph DeMaio, ©2023
(Jan. 21, 2023) — The dictionary defines a neologism as being “1. A new word, usage or expression…” and, in the realm of psychology, “2. A new word that is coined especially by a person affected with schizophrenia and is meaningless except to the coiner.” (Emphasis added)
As long-time P&E readers know, your humble servant has for some time pontificated on the “natural born Citizen” (“nbC”) issue under Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution. In so doing, an issue arose regarding a report of the Congressional Research Service – 2016 CRS Report R42097-2016 – on the topic and characterizing it as involving an analysis of what it called “natural born citizenship.” Because the term “natural born citizenship” does not exist in the Constitution or in any Supreme Court decision, your servant pounced on it as being a “neologism.”
This offering does not deal with the nbC issue, but instead addresses neologisms in the context of the metastasizing malignancy by elitist academia and the Left – pardon the redundancy – to define everything under the sun – again, pardon the reference to that astronomical body we Earthlings call the “sun” – as being, somehow, “racist” or a manifestation of “white supremacy.”
The most recent example of this cancer comes in the form of a lecture delivered by one Luis Leyva, a Vanderbilt University professor at a “Bahhstan” mathematics symposium conducted by a group called the “Joint Mathematics Meetings.” Leyva is a mathematics professor and faculty affiliate in the “Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies,” so who better to lecture mathematicians on math as a racist, “white supremacist” discipline?
As noted by attorney Jonathan Turley here, Leyva’s presentation at the January 2023 meeting of the group was entitled – your servant is not making this up – “Undergraduate Mathematics Education as a White, Cisheteropatriarchal Space and Opportunities for Structural Disruption to Advance Queer of Color Justice.”
Or, in plain English: “Snap that we are…, we shall: Rice Krispies!” Huh? That title is a neologism on steroids…, and gibberish to boot.
At the end of the day, after grappling through the schizophrenic title of his lecture, Leyva’s argument boils down to a claim that the teaching of undergraduate mathematics, to quote Turley, constitutes “a racist field of study advancing white male, straight ‘conforming-to-assigned sex’ individuals.” Really? Monsieur Leyva may want to stream “Hidden Figures,” recounting the work of numerous African-American female mathematicians – nicknamed “computers in skirts” – who helped NASA in its quest to conquer space.
The title of Leyva’s lecture – not to mention the abstract of same he provides – should tell you all you need to know about why tenure and stipend-funded sabbaticals for university “professors” no longer make sense…, assuming they ever made sense. At all. One wonders when Vanderbilt alumni – living in Nashville, no less, the country music capital of the world – will awaken from their indifferent coma.
Ivory Tower academics everywhere, not just Vanderbilt – where undergraduate tuition alone is nearly $60,000 per year – should reexamine their arguments regarding “white supremacy” and the claimed pandemic of “racism.” If they dig deep enough, and are consistent in their reasoning… big assumption…, at their next faculty soirée, they might want to consider swapping their Chardonnay (or Scotch) for a shot of hemlock. Now that would put an end to a lot of “white supremacy” masquerading as “higher education.”