Jonah Goldberg

College campuses in particular are in a perpetual state of panic that rabid bigotry may break out at any moment. Indeed, you can pretty much major in bigotry panic at most top colleges and universities.

In March, Oberlin College staged the PC version of a Cold War-era duck-and-cover drill because a witness claimed to have seen a Ku Klux Klansmen near the school's Afrikan Heritage House.

The president and his team of deans issued an emergency communiqué to the whole campus. Classes were canceled, effective immediately. Instead, a noontime "teach-in" led by the Africana Studies Department was convened. That was followed at 2 p.m. by an all-campus "demonstration of solidarity." And on the off chance even more solidarity was needed, a "We Stand Together" community convocation was scheduled for 3:30.

Campus police later concluded that the robed and hooded "Klansman" was most likely a woman police found walking around campus while wrapped in a blanket. The witness was a half-mile away, and her first thought at seeing a figure wrapped in white cloth was, "The Klan is here!" And everyone thought that made sense.

Oberlin's defenders insist the campus was already at DefCon 1 because a rash of racist graffiti had been plaguing the campus. As with many similar cases, there are reasons to believe the graffiti was itself an idiotic response to the Orwellian political correctness at the school rather than a reflection of old-timey racism at a left-wing college with a rich and honorable abolitionist history.

Just this week, police issued a citation to a liberal activist at the University of Wyoming for faking a rape threat from a fictional angry, sexist Republican on a campus Facebook forum.

Such hoaxes are commonplace on America's most liberal campuses. Why? Perhaps because students, faculty and -- most damningly -- administrators have fostered a climate of delusion and paranoia that constantly generates fresh excuses for the self-appointed antibodies to justify their attacks on a remarkably healthy society.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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