Yale Incident Is About Much More Than Dean Chu

In case you missed it, the big news at Yale University is that the school has suspended Dean June Chu for remarks she made (of all places) on Yelp. Great fodder for the headline writers, such as “Yale dean once championed cultural sensitivity. Then she called people ‘white trash’ on Yelp” and the more succinct “Yale dean loves diversity except ‘white trash’.” In her pontifications on Yelp, Chu managed to, if you will, trash poorly educated whites (must mean lesser education than hers) and inner city blacks.

Yes, of course, dumb, dumb, dumb, and disgusting. However, the punishment was maybe a little harsh, in the sense of being hypocritical.

I would submit that such elitist attitudes are commonplace in elite universities. Chu’s problem was that she was stupid enough to make her remarks publicly (not even using a pseudonym on Yelp). There is so much disdain for the common people. You may recall MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of Obamacare, who said that Obama was able to enact the policy by taking advantage of the “stupid American voters” who didn’t understand it. In my view Obamacare was a needed first step, but Gruber’s execrable attitude, likely common in that administration, speaks volumes.

According to Eileen Pollack’s book about her undergrad years at Yale, only “high class” people would be appointed as deans, meaning tall, patrician, good-looking men. Chu’s appointment as dean may show that Yale has made progress (and maybe shows that Yale’s hiring of her was more for “diversity” than for character), but her remarks reflect the chi-chi circles she moves in there in New Haven.

Interestingly, Chu’s PhD in sociology is from my own institution, the University of California, Davis. I claim that Chu didn’t pick up her elitist attitudes at Davis, particularly in the Sociology Department. According to a colleague there, that faculty is populated mainly by people with working class roots, and who are proud of their background. No, Chu largely acquired these attitudes from Yale, I believe.

I’ve stated many times here that the biggest problem in DC is the total lack of connections of Hill dwellers — both politicians and the press corps that covers them — with the common people, what is termed the laobaixing (Old Hundred Surnames) in China. The pols and journalists are people who have never experienced an extended period of involuntary unemployment, for instance, or the fact that most Americans could not come up with $400 cash if an emergency were to arise. And a disproportionate number of those pols and reporters come from the elite universities.

And then those same clueless people are shocked that Trump won the election (I was not), and couldn’t figure out why the plebian Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money (literally) in the primaries.  The elite were perplexed (even in tears), unaware for instance that many former Obama voters went for Trump.  The Democratic post mortem found that Clinton, she of the Wall Street largesse, was viewed as the consummate elitist, dismissing commoners as “deplorables.” And need I remind you that Clinton is a graduate of Yale Law School?

None of this exonerates Dean June Chu. But really, she is a scapegoat. I wonder how many of Chu’s critics can cast the first stone.

40 thoughts on “Yale Incident Is About Much More Than Dean Chu

  1. The odd thing about this is that a lot of the people in DC and elite universities come from middle class backgrounds. Having come from middle-class parents and having gone to Berkeley, it took me years to realize and understand the brain-washing I’d gotten along with my higher education. Berkeley doesn’t have the chichi credentials of Harvard, Yale or Stanford, but as a top-tier school it manages to imbue many students with a better-than-the great-unwashed attitude.So, it’s easy to see how that could happen in elite East-coast schools. And it’s easy to understand the disregard for the “fly-over nation” that led to such resentment in the red states, and to Trump. It’s regrettable that we got such a defective champion to represent all the people who feel such dissatisfaction with the way the country is run, whether on the left or right. If Trump survives, his incompetence and the power-hungry GOP won’t fix anything. And if he doesn’t survive the battle will just continue in another form. There are a lot of forces here that will take time to work out. The battle’s been going on since 1776, and it’s still a toss-up.


    • Yes, definitely brainwashing, but it is important to note that it is brainwashing by the brainwashed. The brainwashers went through the same thing themselves.

      Don’t write off Trump yet. Yes, he has been doing exactly what I warned about during the election, acting in a very childish manner. But his opponents — the Democrats and the press — have also been doing what I warned about, distorting Trump’s words and actions. In the next few months, if Trump can bring about some substantial change, people will overlook the tantrums and the opponents will have to give him credit.

      Just look at what’s happening now. When the Special Counsel was appointed yesterday, Democrats lauded the action. Now today they are backpedalling, saying they will do their own investigation anyway.


      • The most effective brainwashers are the “true believers”, those who themselves are totally invested in the system of false beliefs, phony values, and stereotyping. A liar is most effective when he/she actually believes the lie him/herself.

        Trump won because the common people appreciated a wealthy, successful man who did not lose touch with the common people — in other words, a man who could walk among the elitists and the swamp creatures, without becoming one of them. This is their role model — what the common man would love to become, wealthy and successful, without becoming a sneering, snobbish, holier-than-thou elitist in the process.

        There’s a reason why shows like “Beverly Hillbillies” succeed. They speak to the common man or common woman who refuses to be changed by success, who refuses to abandon their roots. I can’t tell you how many of my former High School classmates wouldn’t be caught dead in our little town in Tennessee, now that they’ve grown up and moved away to the Big City. This is the divide — those who abandon small-town, middle-class family values as “old-fashioned” and “narrow-minded”, versus those who refuse to fall for such elitist stereotyping.


      • Hello Norman,
        My knowledge of politics is still developing, so do point out the my flaws.

        Like you said, “the press/ MSM” is actively out there intentionally distorting everything he does. So far, I haven’t noticed Trump acting in a childish manner (would love to debate this, but I m not sure if you would allow that here, since political debates may not be proper here). Overall, Hillary and a lot of the representatives of the “Uniparty” (both Dem’s and RINO’s) are bought and paid for by special interests and as usual they are playing their fine tricks of sophistry which are evident from many of their H1-b “reform” bills.

        In what I have read about this administrations action, a lot of good things are happening after a long time of illegal alien lawlessness (sanctuary city, etc), VOICE office, VA accountability, Trump trying to undo decades of damage done through paid for trade deals, cancelling TPP, renegotiating NAFTA and at the last Democrats (I am not extrapolating Democrats word to mean all Democrats) doing their “judge shopping” and aided by the Ninth Circuit pals to block constitutionally legal EO’s that Trump has put out to keep this country safe. (A topic which you have articulated in fine detail: as regards to how many terrorist attacks we are going to tolerate.) Agreeably there are a lot of bad republican’s as well. A politician that chooses to sell out the people of this country for money is a bad one regardless of party affiliation.

        And as usual, there is almost fanatic resistance from paid for politicians in obstructing everything Trump is trying to do. In my opinion, so far the administration has gotten off to a decent start considering all the obstruction and sophisticated media propaganda war to malign the administration. Like you said in your last paragraph, regarding the appointment of Special Counsel, (and all the Democrats action associated with it), this plain farce of a collusion / Russian connection doesn’t have a single proof of wrong doing from Trump’s side. (Even after the security apparatus spied on Trump and still they couldn’t find any “dirt” on him.) And yet Democrats wouldn’t demand a special counsel for Hillary’s email server, Obama’s Fast and Furious gun running, etc, etc, and all the other scandals that have more than enough proof to warrant an investigation.

        And in matters that are appropriate in this blog, a full legal review of visa programs are initiated. If Trump can pull through the Tax Reform and Immigration reform and enforcement (wall) through all the obstructions, then a lot of people would have gotten more than what they expected. Taking on the very powerful special interests is sure not an easy task but I would love to see that Trump succeed.

        I would love to hear your opinions and the opinions of the readers of this blog.


        • You’ve said so much here and I have so little time to comment.

          Yes, money talks in Congress, but party loyalty is even more important. Politics in DC has reduced to each party scheming to undermine the other.

          I don’t think the press deliberately misreports what Trump says and does. It comes from a combination of the unconcscious assumption that everything Trump says and does is wrong, and the need to seize upon every little thing as “news.”

          I’ve written here of Trump’s childish acts on various occasions. The one that sticks out in my mind is Trump’s lashing out at the Gold Star family.


      • From what I hear, there is dirt to go around everywhere. Like the H1B issue, there are GOP and Dems on both sides, for and against.


    • I went to “Ignorant Redneck High School”, and I went to Yale.
      While her reviews are pretty amusing, it is hard to not describe them as “Racist”.

      What I find to be hilarious is that the “Redneck and Poor White Trash” community
      at Yale (who do, in fact, exist) are pretending to be offended. Damn, that’s funny!

      Finally, I suspect that Dean June is kind of talking about _me_, which is also amusing. . .


    • Incompetence? Intellectuals and business leaders have written off a whole sector, manufacturing, for decades, and said it was impossible for us to compete. In 2 short months he has had numerous victories here, and manufacturing confidence is at a 20-year high. Imagine what happens when he renegotiates NAFTA.

      Same for the border. Common sense moves have led to a 70 percent reduction in illegal crossings! Less illegal immigration should eventually lead to higher wages.

      He is also taking an axe to unneeded regulations, and is repairing our relationship with Israel.


  2. My daughter, like myself and other family members, got her undergrad degree at U of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. It’s a great midwestern university, founded as part of the land-grant movement. However, in NYC, there is a huge “Ivies only” prejudice. She found that it was quite difficult to get a job with her credentials from the “common-people U” in the midwest. Now, in Chicago, my guess would be that “U of I-chic” would rule. I’ve only worked in the academy, or the related institutions, so I cannot say from first-hand experience. There is a huge prejudice in NYC.


      • Andreesen went to UIUC.

        Let’s not forget that is where Mosaic and later Netscape came from.

        I don’t see any massive big innovations coming out of Yale or Harvard.


        • Andreeson build on earlier text-based browsers and WWW structure, especially the work of Tim Berners-Lee, a Brit.

          Almost all the advances in CS are incremental, not conceptual. Yale and Harvard have in fact produced some conceptual advances, such as the idea from Yale of tuple space, which has been influential in the world of parallel computation. Harvard was influential in the early days of computing, and has been quite prominent in the development of data science, which is nowadays considered more and more part of CS.

          I would say, though, that people like Chu don’t care one whit about fields like CS. I’ve often mentioned that I believe that the reason that the initial Obamacare rollout had severe IT problems was that Obama and his crowd don’t think of techies as their intellectual peers. They treat the tech people like plumbers, and just assumed one plumber was as good as another.


        • Yale invented the vacuum tube. (Lee DeForest, PhD 1899)
          We also invented the oil industry. (Benjamin Silliman, Professor of Chemistry)

          I am confident that we will invent something important in this century, too.


  3. What we are seeing among the elites is a 180-degree inversion of the Nazi ethos. In order to escape the obvious evils of White Supremacy, the know-it-alls have gone to the opposite extreme: they believe that whites are inherently morally inferior to everyone else, instead of being inherently superior. So they lump all whites into two categories: KKK rabble, or “enlightened” elitist snobs.

    In other words, the elites are guilty of the very stereotyping that they claim to abhor.


    • A friend on campus at Davis says he feels an anti-white bias that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

      A young white liberal Millenial told me that whites are racist. She then gave her Dad a pass because he is liberal and cool. Despite high test scores, she confuses the concepts of racism, stereotype, prepreferance, and facts.


  4. As a Northerner now living in the heart of the Confederacy, I can tell you that a redneck would consider being called “white trash” by a Yalie, a badge of honor. The good dean’s opinions are irrelevant here and for good reason.


  5. Trump is as much elitism as Clinton is but I guess his crude personal manner made him less “elitism” and more appealing. So borrowing your favorite line, where is the border line to define “elitism”? Is Human decency considered as part of elitism? Should Trump’s crude manner be considered as a legitimate way to appeal to ordinary hill dwellers?


    • I think you’re really missed the mark here. Members of both parties would agree that Trump is hated by the elites. I really don’t see any connection of his crude manner with elitism.


      • Trump is only hated by elites when the campaign starts. Do not forget Trump and Hillary were friends before the campaign. How can Trump not be part of the elite group?


        • I think the elites hate him even more now, actually.

          Trump and Hillary were acquaintances, not friends, just using each other.

          Like him or not, Trump has a history of empathy for the working class.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I have to wonder if Trump running and winning wasn’t some kind of payback he had for Hillary. At one time he had donated a huge sum to their foundation. I wonder what political favors never materialized for Trump while the Clintons were in in office.


          • Agree. Trump was always an outsider. They called him “a guy from Queens”.
            Now, the elites really hate him, because he has not only cost Hillary her life’s goal, but has made the political elite and the media elite look stupid. They really hate him now.


          • From the American Health Care Act, to Trump’s tax plan and his budget, I do not see there is any sense of empathy for the working class from Trump. At least Hillary Clinton wants to end citizens united, at least Hillary Clinton was not born with a gold spoon, don’t you agree?


          • Hillary really seems to like the gold (or silver) spoon. As to health care etc., we don’t have details yet, and there will be much horsetrading, so I am reserving judgment.

            Getting rid of Obamacare was never Trump’s issue. He took it on in order to broaden his support among Republicans. Let’s see what he does in the end.


      • Perhaps because he cannot be controlled via money. Since he is independently wealthy, the old bribery, er, I mean campaign contributions thing just won’t work on him. Elites and their establishment demand control, control, control.


  6. Elitism in IT exists but not that in the Ivy League only mindset. Just look at the interviewing schedules of the big name companies. You find big names and HBCs. Small private and regional schools are seldom on the list even though they have many students equally or better qualified than those at the names. The chance of students from those schools getting an interview and an offer is much smaller than others from the preferred schools.

    Individuals attend specific universities for many reasons the most important of which is cost. Students should NOT put themselves and their families in debt on the hope of getting a big salary at a big name firm.


    • Actually, that is a perfect example of the elitist mentality I was describing. I mentioned that the Hill dwellers have never experienced an extended involuntary employment, so they simply cannot understand the ordinary people. Your university example is in this same vein. The elites assume that all young people attend the most prestigious university they can be admitted to, which is frequently a very wrong assumption, due as you mention to things like family situations.


  7. Hello Norm and other readers of this blog,

    Here is an interesting article from Centre for Immigration Studies:


    And the Harvard study that the above article refers to :


    Pretty much shows how biased the media is. (I know you take a more nuanced stance with this Norm, but this much level of media collusion is, IMHO plain borderline propaganda. Media just like congress senators push the point they are paid to push. Maybe some part of media coverage is right, but any way you slice the cake, a lot of the media are paid PR.)


  8. Hello Everyone,
    Regarding H1-b, here is an interesting news article:


    based on survey by Economic Times (Times of India Group, Indian Media)


    Note to Norm:
    In the above mentioned Breitbart article Sara Blackwell says companies will offshore more when H1-b is tightened. From reading your articles, I understand companies often use this “offshoring” threat and they would already outsource whatever job they can and the guest workers they employ now have to be physically present in the US to do their job. So, that being said, do you think companies are going to try to offshore more when visa rules are tightened?

    When companies are jumping up and down to exploit visa loopholes to save maybe $20k or more, why wouldn’t they outsource to save even more money due to much cheaper labor costs in some foreign countries. By that logic, companies would have already outsourced every single job that could be possibly be outsourced and this outsourcing threat may just be like the past outsourcing rhetoric.


    • You hit the nail on the head. If offshoring were feasible, U.S. firms would be doing a lot more of it, as it is much cheaper than even H-1Bs. I’ve said the same thing many times.

      I’ve told a number of lawyers over the years who have brought anti-H-1B lawsuits that the situation is quite complex, so they need to really learn about the processes involved. Very few have done so.


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