Britain’s National Union discourages whooping because it disadvantages the deaf

Britain’s National Union of Students is a travesty: very regressive, authoritarian, and anti-Semitic. In fact, it’s so bad that several universities have withdrawn from it. The good news is that the last President, Malia Bouattia, who is Algerian but claimed to be black, and who was a vicious anti-Semite, was defeated in the latest elections in favor of Shakira Martin, a person who seems more conciliatory. (According to several reports, one here, Bouattia larded her farewell speech with anti-Israeli sentiments, ending by shouting, ‘Free, free Palestine!”)

But the NUS isn’t regressive-free yet. As the the Torygraph reported of the NUS conference, the attendees were warned not to “whoop, cheer, or clap”:

Students who whoop, cheer and clap should face “consequences” because they are excluding deaf people, delegates at the National Union of Students conference said.

Audience members were repeatedly warned that they must cease whooping to express support for a speaker, because it has a “serious impact” on the accessibility of the conference.

Delegates at the NUS annual conference in Brighton were encouraged to use “jazz hands” instead of clapping – where students wave their hands in the air – as this is deemed a more inclusive form of expression.

Estelle Hart, an NUS elections committee member who was chairing a session on Thursday, told students: “No whooping, it does have a serious impact on some delegates ability to access conference.”

The motion calls for “reduced cheering or unnecessary loud noises on conference floor, including whooping and clapping” and warns of “consequences for those who ignore this requirement”. In the past, NUS events have banned clapping on the grounds that it might “trigger anxiety”.

The NUS Women’s conference had previously discouraged clapping and noisy approbation in favor of “jazz hands” since clapping could be triggering.  Here are “jazz hands” in case you didn’t know:
What I don’t understand is why whooping should be replaced by “jazz hands,” which, after all, exclude the blind. At least the deaf can see when some form of approbation is going on.

The Torygraph also reported this:

Last week it emerged that Oxford University’s Equality and Diversity Unit issued guidance to students advising them that students who avoid making eye contact with their peers could be guilty of racism.

But the BBC noted that Oxford later apologized for saying that the lack of eye contact was a “microaggression”  and “subtle, everyday racism” after being told that some autistic people, or those with social anxiety disorder, avoid eye contact. Finally, the Torygraph adds another bit of student insanity (sorry, that’s ableism) that I reported on earlier:

The University of Glasgow started issuing “trigger warnings” for theology students studying the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, whereby students are told they may see distressing images and are given the opportunity to leave.

This warning was given to THEOLOGY STUDENTS! Oy!

This is the kind of thing being done to supposedly rectify social injustice, but is really just virtue flaunting,  I’m all in favor of giving handicapped people access and opportunities that everyone else has, but the ban on whooping and clapping shows that good motivations can be carried way too far. This is exactly why the Left is riven with accusations of ideological impurity.

h/t: Jerry

68 Comments

  1. Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Jazz hands are cultural appropriation of course and also ableist by mocking those with seizures.

    • allison
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Not to mention the blind.

      • Brian Salkas
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Plus, what if someone prefers classical music?

        • DiscoveredJoys
          Posted May 1, 2017 at 2:30 am | Permalink

          Fugue hands. Slower, moving the hands up and down more by a fixed amount, and more repetitive.

  2. DrBrydon
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    So is the issue that deaf members don’t know when to express approbation, and miss out on auditory clues? I would say stop whooping because it’s stupid, but surely deaf people can see others clapping just as well as they can see ‘jazz hands.’ I would imagine that NSU has an ‘applause’ sign at the front of their meetings anyway to make sure people know the appropriate points to express their heartfelt solidarity.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      My wife, who knows these things, just informed me that ‘jazz hands’ is the deaf community’s way of clapping. Doesn’t explain why accomodating the deaf requires everyone to do it their way.

      • Wunold
        Posted May 1, 2017 at 4:03 am | Permalink

        I can understand that Jazz Hands was created to make cheering more visible, but at the price of setting yourself aside the majority of people and barring blinds as well.

        Why not just clapping over your head so it’s more visible, but closer to established customs and still audible?

        If someone knows more about it, feel free to elaborate.

    • somer
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      Exactly – deaf people can see clapping – and what about blind people?. All this identity politics insanity is a perversion of rights. Rather than balancing protection of minorities according to presence and level of need or of actual discrimination against them versus the level of effects on the majority – the rights of those deemed minorities trump all other rights. Moreover all minorities are not equal and outside the west most are not a minority. It also ignores what is possible and most effective use of resources in given circumstances. The people who demand the most of social services also are most denigratory of the modern nation state and its borders and its complex national and international agreements that makes those services possible.
      This obsession with tiny particulars or grand abstractions rather than context seems to me also to reflect a distance from the daily immediate existential threats that the WW2 generation faced – the further from actual widespread poverty and actual experience of war or danger are the generations the more insane, rather than the more intelligent, their demands. Is it human nature to prefer the simplistic and stupid on social matters?

      • Robert Bray
        Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Well-said, Somer. Perhaps we should revise the spelling, where appropriate, of ‘insane’/’insanity.’

        in(s)ane/in(s)anity

    • somer
      Posted May 2, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      When I say “Moreover all minorities are not equal and outside the west most are not a minority.” I am alluding to the fact that the left elevates particular minorities for its concern. Women are not a minority they are a 50:50 or 49.5:50.5 but there is a hierarchy of oppression implicit in anti West Left ideology that tends to impact non Western women and white Working class women adversely, not to mention white working class men. Unfettered capitalism is bad – and hedge funds will hopefully eventually be banned too. But we have welfare states with numerous public services. But the hard left busily denounces all forms of capitalism including regulated capitalism they demand a level of services and global interconnectedness that cannot function without some form of capitalism. They de facto imagine you can have a soviet style semi barter economy, with every single economic act of production, distribution and exchange determined by a periodically updated plan whose details are implemented by bureaucrats at the centre.

  3. mfdempsey1946
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Oh, Ceiling Cat, this grotesque stupidity just rolls on and on and on…

  4. Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    You just couldn’t make up this stuff even if you tried.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I cried because I could not whoop until I met a man with no jazz hands.

  6. BJ
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Years ago, when regressive campus insanity was in its infancy, we used to make jokes about things like this happening. We thought we were satirizing the things they might do in the future. Literally every joke I can think of ever making in the past has actually come true (e.g. changing the words “trigger warning” to something less triggering, like “content warning,” which is now used by many because the word “trigger” can be…triggering).

  7. David Duncan
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    “…students who avoid making eye contact with their peers could be guilty of racism.”

    I think *making* eye contact also should be banned – it is agressive and an invasion of people’s personal space.

    • BJ
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Well, here you go: https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/32323/

      Literally anything you do can be seen as a microaggression by somebody.

    • Posted May 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Ironically for the racism card, the expectations of “looking at someone” vary from place to place. So what is one supposed to do?

      I always mention this in the light of autistics, who might find it hard to do, too.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted May 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        There are also some cultures where not looking people directly in the eye is a sign of respect. Looking people in the eye for them is aggressive and challenging.

  8. Randy schenck
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    How does making noise have any impact on the deaf? Is no talking appropriate as well or just whispering? Because some are confined to a wheel chair there will be no walking.

  9. Gareth
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I don’t avoid eye contact, I look at the mouth because I’m hearing impaired. I don’t make a concious decision to do this, its something I just started doing as a kid, and what led teachers to suspect I may have been hearing impaired in the first place.
    I occasionally remember that there are cultural expectations of eye contact, but then I become self-concious that I’m forcing it, and probably look odd doing it, and my social anxieties get the better of me.

    I guess this is where I may depart from the contemporary view of the ‘regressive left’, they are just a continuation of the authoritarian left, who have always existed. Tend to go go about solving things with a rigid-ass rule book, a sledgehammer that sees nails everywhere.
    Sure the rule book changes, but the mentality, its the same one that felt it could justify the USSR back in the 50s and 60s.

  10. John
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Whooping in the UK is cultural appropriation (being a US “cultural” form of expressing approval). I approve of a ban on whooping (though for different reasons, but I’ll cynically support whatever reason sticks)

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Whooping is very obnoxious to the non-whoopers. I would not mind asking attendants to not do it for that reason. Same goes with using a camera with a flash.
      And tall hats. No tall hats, please.

      • John
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Hear hear (a form of expressing approval that’s a bit nobby, but at least it’s not whooping)

      • Filippo
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if not whooping is offensive to whoopers.

  11. Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The eye-contact thing struck me right away as I don’t do it. In my case it’s Aspergers but as anyone familiar with the spectrum will know, most autistic traits are also present throughout the ‘normal’ population too – it’s a constellation of these traits that defines the condition – so lack of eye-contact by itself – falls well within neurotypical norms.

    In any case, having to disclose one’s autistic status in order to defend yourself against accusations of racism is unacceptable. These are people who think asking someone where they are from is a microagression yet demand you disclose information about yourself that you might not have even revealed to friends and family? Fuck that.

    • Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      This whole issue gets my AFIB in an uproar. As a person who strongly believes in freedom of speech and freedom of expression, one must include freedom of not speaking and not expressing. It’s an individual choice, as it should be. Expressing, or not, solidarity, in any manner is a choice, as is the opposite. There is no law that individuals must share their thoughts or feelings with others. For those of us who keep our thoughts to ourselves, have at it! For those of us who are verbose, have at it! Or any point in between. Let us be!

      In re: Aspergers. I don’t know about you, but it annoys me that behaviors outside the bell of the bell curve seemingly must be labelled with names and descriptions that identify them as mental illnesses or deficiencies. Most of what’s outside the bell is normal until you get toward the ends and some really freaky stuff.
      I think there are tendencies in families to have Asperger-like behaviors just as there is for familial types of depression. Just as there is for cancer or heart disease. Some day, maybe scientists will finally learn the genetic components and the range of normal is understood to extend beyond the bell.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        I share the eye-contact aversion. (So far as I know I don’t have asperger’s or similar). But looking someone in the eye always strikes me as confronting or rude (except in circumstances where it’s intimate).

        I can outstare people but I have to be motivated and aggressive to do it. Hardly ever happens.

        And since Rowena mentioned it, yes I do believe in the absolute right to NOT share your feelings or personal views unless you want to.

        cr

        • darrelle
          Posted May 1, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          I am very similar to you regarding eye-contact.

      • eric
        Posted May 1, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Most of what’s outside the bell is normal until you get toward the ends and some really freaky stuff.

        Indeed. It’s worth considering that if you measure anyone on 100 different personality or physical traits, there’s a great chance they’re going to be ‘outside the bell’ on at least one of them. It is normal to be unusual in some way.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I share the reluctance to automatically make eye contact with just anyone. And I don’t think I’m odd or unacceptably abnormal.

      There is also a hypothesis that most men are autistic to some extent. I could buy into that.

  12. dabertini
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t mind a free Palestinian state. However that is never going to happen unless the Palestinians acknowledge the state of Israel. Sadly religion may be iradicated before anti-Semitism is.

    • Posted May 1, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I agree with you, but people like Bouattia and BDS supporters want a “free Palestine” to include Israel. That’s what the motto “From the rivers to the sea, Palestine will be free” mean. Israel: gone!

  13. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Posts like this here on WEIT should post the following 🙂

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Very good.
      [Jazz hands]

    • David Harper
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      Didn’t they start every episode of The Roy Rogers Show with a Trigger warning?

    • Posted May 2, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      I don’t think you should have posted that image without a trigger-warning warning warning.

  14. Juan Martínez
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    To me, either whooping or jazz- handing mean the same thing: that you understand what the speaker just said. And that’s plain discrimination against those with impaired understanding.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      lol

  15. jeffery
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    These morons have their heads so far up their asses that they’ve popped out the mouths and are circling around, headed for their asses again! Cab you imagine what it would be like just to go out to EAT with a bunch of these, “Mind-Nazis”?

  16. Posted April 30, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    This must be parody. Where’s Andy Kaufman?

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    The desire of some people to arrogate to themselves the right to control the conduct of others seems bottomless.

  18. sshort
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The jazz hand gif is perfect. If the regressive left ever gains political control, this is what a PSA from the Surgeon General would look like.

    Reason alone they must be defeated.

  19. grasshopper
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    WWHKD (What Would Helen Keller Do)?

  20. Posted April 30, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Australian Aboriginal children avoid eye contact with adults, as it is considered to be challenging in many of their cultures. Teachers are taught not to say “look at me when I’m talking to you” lest it bring about a violent reaction.

  21. jay
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, back at the asylum, choosing to cut back on possessions and live in a tiny house is “poverty appropriation”

    https://theestablishment.co/the-troubling-trendiness-of-poverty-appropriation-4d3681406320

    • J.Baldwin
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      So, just so I have this straight:

      1. Conspicuous consumption by economic elites is “problematic.”

      2. Eschewal of conspicuous consumption simultaneously appropriates and erases the lived experience of plebes and so is also “problematic.”

      3. Being a middle-class suburbanite, bourgeois dupe is “problematic.”

      No wonder the left is going all in for authoritarianism. It’s not “problematic.”

  22. Posted April 30, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Im in favour of foot stomping, vibrations if your wondering why, that way the blind and the deaf are all in on the action, fast stomping for approval and slow for inverse.
    The jazz hands look dangerous, excessive wrist movement and waving hands around, poke in the eye sort of danger, especially if your blind…waving those white sticks about.
    Come to think of it 200 plus people stomping might unhinge pictures of past Presidents off the wall, glass shards everywhere, now that’s a lively meeting with an edge.

  23. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    “This is exactly why the Left is riven with accusations of ideological impurity.”

    Personally, I find ideological *purity* to be far more offensive and malevolent.

    cr
    irredeemably impure

    • darrelle
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Not to mention boring. Even aside from pragmatic reasons that uniformity is undesirable, aesthetically speaking it is dreadfully boring. That alone is plenty reason to not foster uniformity in my opinion.

  24. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Umm, so what do they do when they want to hiss, boo, or heckle? Let off smoke bombs instead?

    cr

    • Posted May 1, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Once all the speakers and presentations are properly vetted there will be no need to hiss, boo, or heckle.

  25. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    “No whooping, it does have a serious impact on some delegates ability to access conference.”

    [Grammar Nazi mode ON:]
    ‘conference’ is a concrete, singular noun. It is NOT an abstract noun. As such, it takes an article – either ‘a’ or ‘the’.

    Apparently some delegates are having serious difficulty accessing grammar.

    [OFF]

    cr

  26. Paul Clapham
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Failing to make eye contact might constitute racism? Let me mention something which happens here in Canada.

    As you might know, people of aboriginal heritage are over-represented as the target of criminal charges here. And it turns out that in some aboriginal societies, avoiding eye contact is a way of showing respect to authority figures.

    However non-aboriginal judges and juries are often inclined to interpret avoiding eye contact as a sign of guilt.

    So yes, there’s a sort of racism going on there but it’s not the eye-contact-avoiding aboriginal defendant who should be accused of racism.

  27. starskeptic
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    That’s Malia Bouattia

  28. grasshopper
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Fans of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr will recognize the opening paragraph of his short story Harrison Bergeron, full text here

    THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal
    before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter
    than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was
    stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the
    211th, 212th, and 213 th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing
    vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

    In the story, equality doesn’t come by setting a high bar and helping people rise to it, but by suppressing abilities and talents of people who find it easy to attain.

    A real real-life issue involving deafness was when a lesbian couple, both deaf, decided to deliberately conceive a child guaranteed to be congenitally deaf, because they considered deafness to be a cultural issue rather than a disability.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1916462.stm
    Maybe blindness is a cultural issue too. Rubella vaccines have robbed many children of their cultural identity, I guess.

    • Henry Fitzgerald
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 1:03 am | Permalink

      Let’s look at that bit again:

      “A real real-life issue involving deafness was when a lesbian couple, both deaf, decided to deliberately conceive a child guaranteed to be congenitally deaf, because they considered deafness to be a cultural issue rather than a disability.”

      …I suppose there is a consistent way of reading this, but one has to be very charitable to find it.

      • Henry Fitzgerald
        Posted May 1, 2017 at 1:04 am | Permalink

        …Probably no need to say so, but I’m accusing the lesbian couple of clouded thinking here, not Grasshopper.

  29. Tom
    Posted May 1, 2017 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    We shouldn’t be concerned these same students will grow up and most will go on to be part of the backbone of conservatism.
    Just “suits” in the making having a fling.

  30. Posted May 1, 2017 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Does punching Nazis count as a micro-aggression?

    Should you look Nazis in the eye before punching them, to avoid appearing racist?

    • Posted May 2, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      No, it’s macro aggression or as it is more commonly called “aggression”.

  31. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted May 1, 2017 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    We have Sophisticated Theologians who make convoluted arguments about god because only they are clever enough to understand ‘reality’.

    We have Sophisticated Philosophers who make convoluted arguments about free will because only they are clever enough to understand ‘reality’.

    And now we have Sophisticated Diversity Promoters who make convoluted arguments about social behaviour because only they are clever enough to understand ‘reality’.

    Arrogance appears to be a common factor.

  32. somer
    Posted May 1, 2017 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    I totally agree that for the great majority of societies and circumstances the most fundamental right is freedom of thought and expression because normally it enables the other rights regardless of circumstances. Sadly today too many across the political spectrum, but probably more the left than the right in the West, are starting to actually denigrate free speech

  33. Posted May 1, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    These people are the future, the fucking world is insane.

  34. Gina
    Posted May 1, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    This is like Kurt Vonnegut’s book –
    Harrison Bergeron – where anyone above average has to wear something to handicap themselves.

  35. Harrison
    Posted May 1, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    The final result of this is that nobody assumes anymore that anyone else is operating in good faith. And they’re right to do so. Manipulative people have exploited the rules of courtesy so severely that people are ready to throw out the rulebook and just be horrible to one another. Why not?

    If all your attempts at being courteous and accommodating are met with scorn that you’re still not doing it right, you might as well just give up. This is how the trolls win.

  36. Posted May 2, 2017 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    Whooping should be confined to swans. An uncouth habit that seems to have come here from, dare I say, the USA! 😉

  37. somer
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness at least the odious and aptly named Malia is gone. Filled with hate and dedicated to the destruction of both free speech and Israel.


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