We are being told that the present state of chassis is #notnormal, and that we should not normalize it. Zoe Williams in the Guardian talks of what is now being accepted as `normal’, whether under Trump or after the Brexit vote, and lays the blame where it belongs:
Normalising is not anything the rightwing extremists do, and they do not try: they don’t look for acceptable labels for themselves. It is the mainstream that twists itself into conciliatory pretzel knots finding nicer words for “fascist”, such as “alt-right”.
Democrats try to find the fault within themselves: ask not whether a racist hates; ask what made the racist so angry in the first place. Once we have found the right member of the liberal elite to pin it on, the hate maybe won’t sound so frightening.
The reason things seem `normal’ or `normalized’ is that they have been treated as normal for years, certainly within higher education. For example,
The government’s guidance to universities in England and Wales on the `Prevent duty’ contains the following paragraphs (120,1):
Universities have a clear role to play in the welfare of their students and we would expect there to be sufficient chaplaincy and pastoral support for all students.
As part of this, we would expect the institution to have clear and widely available policies for the use of prayer rooms and other faith-related facilities. These policies should outline arrangements for managing prayer and faith facilities (for example an oversight committee) and for dealing with any issues arising from the use of the facilities.
The use of the term `prayer rooms’ does make clear which faith is being targeted here. A few years ago, however, Bristol University’s Christian Union barred women from speaking unaccompanied at its events:
We understand that this [women teaching] is a difficult issue for some and so decided that women would not teach on their own at our CU:Equip meetings [its principal weekly meeting], as the main speaker on our Bristol CU weekend away or as our main speaker for mission weeks.
If such a thing happens again, is an academic or other member of university staff expected to note this affront to the `fundamental British value’ of `individual liberty’ and report the Christian Union for extremism?