This morning on ‘No Safe Spaces’ Rich Girard and I began with a recent article from The New Hampshire (TNH), the UNH Student Newspaper. Executive Editor Colleen Irvine does a nice job of pointing out to students on Campus that the first amendment doesn’t just protect speech on one side of the debate. Colleen also does an excellent job reiterating that these protections are limited to peaceful protest. But I think, maybe in a future article or two, she could go further.
TNH needs an open-minded exploration into what is at the root of the intolerance for opposing speech (primarily conservative or Republican) on college campuses.
The Campus Culture, Diversity, and the Inclusive Excellence curriculum are producing bands, tribes, entire campus communities who need safe spaces at the mere mention of ideas they are not equipped or just unwilling to accept on any terms. Their response is to silence what they don’t want to hear.
Scott Yenor, a tenured political science professor at Boise State University, published an article at The Daily Signal on modern feminist connections to same-sex marriage and Transgender rights.
“…students, activists, and even staff members at Boise State are now waging a relentless campaign to get Yenor fired or shut down. A petition to have Yenor fired—which has now gained thousands of signatures—has been passed around on campus. Activists have posted flyers attacking him, and some have called for other faculty to come out and officially condemn him.”
The response from the Social Justice left can be summed up as intimidation and vitriol. Destroy the speaker. Get him fired. Denounce his work.
There is no effort, scholarly or otherwise, to refute any part of his argument. And while Prof. Yenor says he’ll continue his work–and the University has no plan to fire him–the outrage has cleared the decks. No one dares touch the subject out of fear that they might not keep their jobs at their University. The,
“crusade against his work and others that challenge left-wing orthodoxy on campus is undercutting free speech at our colleges and universities.”
“there has been a very chilling effect on not only my speech, but those who would speak in defense of me both on the substance, and on the principle of academic freedom.”
The second example comes from UC Santa Cruz where a meeting of college Republicans, in a private room reserved for that purpose, at a Library on campus, was interrupted by far-left students who barged in and shouted at those assembled.
When invited to stay and discuss their ideas they responded that Dialog is violence.
The protesters called us a number of different epithets, including “fascists,” “racists,” and “white supremacists” and berated Mchenry Library staff, calling a school employee a “white supremacist,” because she refused to dissolve our meeting. Anyone that didn’t explicitly join them in their mission of screaming in the library became a “white supremacist,” including the many people of color not only in our group but who were watching the incident.
The “protesters” were eventually detained and removed by police but think about what happened here. They went out of their way to intervene in a private meeting space to prevent both the free association of individuals and their right to free expression. And anyone who objected to their position, be it students looking for a bit of peace in a study environment or library staff, was immediately branded as a white supremacist.
Where did they come to these conclusions? How did they arrive at these biased opinions? Who gave them the idea that it was acceptable to behave this way for these reasons?
Make your own list but somewhere on there, we ought to find a campus culture created by white-tower liberals pimping diversity and social justice curriculums that promote neither.