Everyone’s Dunking On The “Anti-Woke University” Created By A Self-Cancelled Journalist
"Hate being so cancelled that I have the resources to start my own university."
Bari Weiss, the “self-cancelled” former New York Times opinion editor who left the publication over fears it was bowing down to cancel culture, has created her own anti-woke university.
Wrangling together a group of highly questionable staff for the new college that supposedly champions the idea of “free thought”, Weiss announced she had started The University of Austin (UATX) dedicated to the “fearless pursuit of truth”.
“We got sick of complaining about how broken higher education is. So we decided to do something about it,” Weiss tweeted on Monday. “Announcing a new university dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth: The University of Austin.
“This university will welcome witches who refuse to burn.”
In her newsletter, Weiss went on to explain that UATX aims to stop faculty from being “treated like thought criminals” for having differing opinions as she is alarmed “by the illiberalism and censoriousness prevalent in America’s most prestigious universities”.
— dunesplainer (@JWJones252) November 8, 2021
If you don’t know who Bari Weiss is, she’s the journalist who resigned from the New York Times with a public 1,500-word resignation letter that detailed her disdain for the organisation allegedly choosing to bow down to the “new orthodoxy” of cancel culture.
Despite resigning on her own accord, Weiss tried to blame the woke “mob” on Twitter for dictating what was published on the site and accused colleagues of “constant bullying” her for having “wrongthink” opinions, which she claims essentially drove her out of the opinion editor role.
“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor,” Weiss dramatically wrote. “As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space.”
“The truth is that intellectual curiosity — let alone risk-taking — is now a liability at The Times… Self-censorship has become the norm.”
After leaving The Times, Weiss went on to create her own platform through a newsletter where she freely shares her opinions. Weiss also launched the Honestly with Bari Weiss podcast that she describes as “uncancellable, unowned, free and fearless”.
So it’s really no surprise that Weiss has continued her anti-woke crusade by announcing the launch of her new “university” via Substack. A university that is unaccredited, has no formal campus for students to attend, and, most bafflingly, doesn’t actually offer any degrees or transferrable credits.
Instead, The University of Austin is offering a summer program full of “Forbidden Courses” that are designed to give students room to ask those “provocative questions that often lead to censorship or self-censorship in many universities”.
“good morning students, welcome to SLURS 101”
— marshall lo (@firmlyclimactic) November 8, 2021
Bari Weiss’s Defense Against The Dark Arts class is just different ways to scream censorship when you lose an argument.
— Daniel José Older (@djolder) November 9, 2021
Beyond herself, Weiss also managed to round together an anti-woke faculty of other notable people with equally questionable viewpoints who have all felt victimised by “woke culture” at some stage in their career.
For example, former UK philosophy professor Kathleen Stock, who resigned from the University of Sussex following accusations of transphobia, joined UATX as a Founding Faculty Fellow. As did Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a scholar who recently claimed that “wokeism” has “remarkable similarities” to white supremacy, and Andrew Sullivan, the New Republic editor who faced backlash for publishing excerpts of The Bell Curve that argued there was a link between race and I.Q.
Ironically, despite the faculty of UATX claiming they’ve been impacted by cancel culture — and the evil left-wing woke mob who want to destroy their careers — at one time or another, the group of “free thinkers” still had enough resources to create an entire university and advertise it on their large platforms.
Hate being so canceled that I have the resources to start my own university
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) November 8, 2021
But one of the funniest things about the anti-woke university isn’t the fact that the “university” doesn’t even offer paying students degrees, credits, or a campus. It’s that cracks in UATX’s free-thinking academic faculty have already started to show one day into announcing the launch.
While sharing the news of her involvement in the university, Caitlin Flanagan said that the faculty’s plan was to “protect the light” as Cicero allegedly wrote about in On The Republic. Flanagan tweeted that Cicero wrote the piece as “Rome was dying” and that the book became one of Founding Father John Adams’ favourites, claiming it was “essential in the creation of” the US. Unfortunately for Flanagan, as Twitter user Seth Bernard pointed out, this information was simply false.
Cicero wrote ‘De Re Publica’ in the 50s BC with the majority of text only being published in 1822 — 21 years after Adams presidency. Oh, and Rome fell in 476 AD, some 518 years after Cicero’s death.
But instead of just coping being wrong on the chin, Flanagan tried to invite Bernard to debate the “disagreement” over Zoom for an audience to demonstrate a “teaching method”. A “disagreement” that Flanagan was confusingly still having despite nothing but cold, hard historical facts being presented.
Banner first day for debate me bro university pic.twitter.com/5Jr7sB04LQ
— Derailed 7000 series tran (@transscribe) November 9, 2021
On the bright side, if this is the quality of education being provided at the University of Austin, future students should probably be glad the anti-woke “university” isn’t dishing out degrees after all.