We can play such silly games forever, and that's what happens when you let entirely unserious people pretend to be serious. Political correctness has been eating away at our colleges and universities for quite a long time, but now it's beginning to eat its own--and none too soon. The inmates are are showing why they're completely unsuited to running the asylums, and its time for college and university administrators to reassert some control. Yes, I'm suggesting that the adults should take over from the children.
Yale. Missouri. Claremont McKenna. Berkeley. Ithaca, Vanderbilt, Smith, and Iowa (link). Like a virus this temper tantrum is starting to spread. Fortunately, unlike a virus, this tantrum can be controlled. Isolation might be required for awhile, and we might try that in order to let itself burn out, but if that doesn't work we need to fight back. Hard.
First, the problem:
A recent tweet shows more of the problem:
racial "crying wolf" lately, and this article doesn't go as far back as Daisy Lundy:
As the University of Missouri is engulfed by a number of bratty students offended over racial incidents that might not have even happened, it's important to note that race hoaxes tend to pop up on campuses throughout the country. Here are the top ten race hoaxes that have occurred on campus.More here.
Did the swastika-ca even really happen at Missouri? I find it odd that not a single picture of it exists.
I was listening to Mark Steyn on the Hugh Hewitt Show on the way home from work tonight. He, correctly pointed out that sadly, we've raised a generation of students who value tribal identity more than the First Amendment. "Wrongthought" is not just to be disagreed with, but punished. We can't offend anyone. We need safe spaces to practice our thoughts, and to hell with anyone who doesn't share our thoughts. Say anything at which we can choose to take offense, and we will. They have become the bullies, and we adults have let them. In fact, some adults have taught them to be this way. Orwell's 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not a how-to manual.
Is this really what it means to be a university student nowadays?
Isn't spitting a real form of assault, as opposed to an idea you don't like? Do adults spit on people, or is that something children do? We all know the answer.
Do minority students genuinely feel "unsafe" at universities? This isn't how underdogs act:
If you want to protest, protest. But to expect your professors (the adults) to endorse your temper tantrum and let you take a test some other time--well, they got what they wanted this time, I guess, but I'm quite sure it will by a Pyrrhic victory.
And while we're making everything about race, are we going back to segregation? It's not whitey saying this, it's minority students themselves saying it:
Student protesters at the University of Missouri asked white supporters to leave Wednesday night in order to create a “black only healing space.”How about a "blacks only" meeting at a public high school?
We were supposed to have gotten away from racial segregation in public places a long time ago. We decided a long time ago that that was not the kind of society we wanted. This doesn't sound "progressive" to me at all, if we pretend that "progressive" has anything to do with "progress".
Just how good is that education they're getting, anyway? I hope this student isn't representative.
My conclusion is summed up in this City Journal piece:
The Maoist Millennials threatening reporters in Missouri and shouting down adult voices outside a Yale residential college are the perfect marriage of inchoate anti-capitalism and racial rage. They represent a generation weaned on cynicism about the prospects for justice in twenty-first-century America. They don’t know who the 1 percent are, or how they got that way—apart from the nefarious, rapacious Koch brothers, of course—but they know that these modern Robber Barons call the shots and always have. They don’t know much about Thomas Jefferson, except that he owned slaves, and thus the mere mention of his name invalidates their identities. They know only outrage. They feel only pain.Taxpayers may well decide that paying for the so-called education of these little fascists isn't worth our money anymore. It's time for the adults to establish themselves.
A college freshman in 2015 was 11 years old when Barack Obama was elected president. What themes has he absorbed? The United States is an unjust nation in most respects. Capitalism is a rigged system that only benefits the already rich. If you’re a black man in America, you will be railroaded into prison as soon as you leave school.
But here’s where it gets really interesting. The average 18- to 25-year-old remembers the lofty promises of hope and change that he heard from Obama during his presidential campaigns. He looks at the American political system and thinks to himself: “Even the great Obama can’t snap his fingers and bring about the world of perfect justice that I desire.” What does he conclude? That all politics—even Democratic Party politics—are irredeemably broken. It’s time to tear that down, too.
How to placate this angry and organized element that threatens to hold hostage the Democratic Party and its electoral prospects? Does the party establishment stand for free speech and civil discourse, or does it support burning it all down? We hear a lot about the Republicans’ Tea Party problem but almost nothing about the Democrats’ Maoist problem. What’s Bernie Sanders’s take on the goings-on at Missouri? What’s Hillary Clinton’s?
The sparks from the fires being set in Columbia, Missouri, and New Haven, Connecticut will catch flight on the dry wind of social media over the coming days and weeks, igniting copycat conflagrations at other schools. As with the turbulent campus radicalism of the 1960s, this new outbreak will be mainly the liberals’ problem to solve. The typical American college campus is run by cadres of old-fashioned liberals—not revolutionaries, just plain old American liberals who like mom, apple pie, FDR, LBJ, and Obama. At the higher levels of administration and on boards of trustees and overseers, you may even find the odd moderate Republican. What you don’t find many of are radicals such as those that have been videotaped abetting the anti-free-speech temper tantrums in Missouri.
We’ll soon learn whether the old- fashioned liberals have what it takes to stand up to the Maoists. So far, it’s not looking good.
P.S. Don't forget this post from yesterday.
Update, 11/16/15: A tweet by blogger Iowahawk:
Campuses today are a theatrical mashup of 1984 and Lord of the Flies, performed by people who don't understand these references.