Raising a City

They KNOW they’re hypocrites

They simply don’t give a damn:

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Dr Priyamvada Gopal, a lecturer who specializes in postcolonial literature and “critical race studies” at the University of Cambridge’s Churchill College, announced that “white lives don’t matter,” and that whiteness should be “abolished.” Unsurprisingly, she received mountains of criticism for her divisive utterances.

In the current racially charged era, one might assume Cambridge would want to distance itself from her radical pronouncements, but it seems to have assumed a bolder position. “The university defends the right of its academics to express their own lawful opinions, which others might find controversial, and deplores, in the strongest terms, abuse and personal attacks,” the prestigious institution tweeted on Wednesday, adding that any attacks leveled against its faculty were “totally unacceptable and must cease.”

The University defends the right of its academics to express their own lawful opinions which others might find controversial and deplores in the strongest terms abuse and personal attacks. These attacks are totally unacceptable and must cease.

The statement elicited howls of “hypocrisy!” from social media, with numerous commentators pointing out that Cambridge was clearly selective when it came to defending controversial opinions. In March 2019, the university withdrew Canadian professor of psychology Jordan Peterson’s fellowship, after staff and students protested. Peterson, who rose to prominence after deriding the compulsory use of gendered pronouns, has been accused of being transphobic – an allegation he denies. Announcing its decision to withdraw the fellowship, the university said it aimed to foster an “inclusive environment” and that all staff and visitors must uphold those principles.

If this doesn’t convince conservatives that their “this just proves” approach to tirelessly exposing hypocrisy on the Left is pointless, I don’t know what will.

Raising a City

Chicago was originally built along the banks of Lake Michigan. It was a low marshy area and as the size of the city grew the lack of drainage created a sewer problem that resulted in a series of cholera outbreaks. By the 1850s the issue became severe enough that a sewer system was proposed. The problem was that everything had been built right at the water table and there was no drainage below the buildings.

The solution was to raise the city. Wooden homes were often relocated, sold and moved out of the new city center so that new masonry buildings could be built on new foundations at the new grade. But the larger buildings were raised. Teams of hundreds of men with thousands of jacks dug out under the stone and iron buildings and jacked them up to a new level. The streets were then filled in to the new grade.

By 1860, confidence was sufficiently high that a consortium of no fewer than six engineers; including James Brown, James Hollingsworth and George Pullman took on one of the most impressive locations in the city and hoisted it up complete and in one go. They lifted half a city block on Lake Street, between Clark Street and LaSalle Street; a solid masonry row of shops, offices, printer shops, etc., 320 feet long, comprising brick and stone buildings, some four stories high, some five, having a footprint taking up almost one acre of space, and an estimated all in weight including hanging sidewalks of thirty five thousand tons.

Businesses operating out of these premises were not closed down for the lifting; as the buildings were being raised, people came, went, shopped and worked in them as if nothing out of the ordinary were happening. In five days the entire assembly was elevated 4 feet 8 inches clear in the air by a team consisting of six hundred men using six thousand jackscrews, ready for new foundation walls to be built underneath. The spectacle drew crowds of thousands, who were on the final day permitted to walk at the old ground level, among the jacks.

It wasn’t impossible because they believed they could.