Lately, I’ve been feeling very uncomfortable as a conservative professor on a college campus. Maybe it’s all those long hours I’m putting into writing to help pay for the child my wife and I are adopting from Vietnam. UNC-Wilmington’s health plan only gives us money if we want to abort a child but nothing if we chose to adopt.
But there is evidence that my discomfort is due to more than just writer’s fatigue. Other conservatives are having a hard time, even in the Deep South. And I reckon that’s mostly due to the fact that our Southern campuses are being over-run by Yankee professors and administrators. And I think I have more than a few good examples to support my contention.
Recently at Georgia Tech, the College Republicans placed 48 white crosses on the campus lawn on the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade - in order to pay their respects to the 48 million babies aborted since 1973. (Author’s note: UNC-Wilmington’s Women’s Resource Center “celebrated” the 34th anniversary of Roe. There are rumors that they jammed scissors into the skulls of 48 baby dolls while singing Alanis Morissette, but, unfortunately, the rumors cannot be confirmed).
The incident at Georgia Tech seems at first like an example of simple liberal intolerance. But it isn’t. My sources tell me that the crosses were stolen by Yankee administrators in the Georgia Tech Office of Campus Diversity and the Georgia Tech Women’s Resource Center. Their motivation was that they feared the crosses were about to be used as part of a Klan rally. Adding to the confusion was the fact that three students were seen shortly beforehand wearing white robes on their way to an off-campus Karate class.
But one can easily see how the “all Southerners are Klansmen” stereotype makes it tough for us (Southerners, not Klansmen) to feel comfortable on a college campus.
Also note the recent incident at Clemson University. Some white students threw a party on Martin Luther King, Jr. day. One white student put on black make-up and many were seen drinking cans of Schlitz Malt Liquor. The president of the university said he was “angered” by the incident and the NAACP (National Association for the Aggravation of Caucasian People) even stepped in to investigate.
The incident at Clemson seems at first like an example of simple adolescent racial insensitivity. But it isn’t. My sources tell me that Senator Joe Biden was there at the Clemson party, too. After downing a few Malt Liquors, he was quoted as saying, “If the Negroes would just quite drinking this stuff, they wouldn’t be so damned unclean and inarticulate.”
One can easily see how giving Biden a pass – just because he’s from Delaware – and investigating the Southern white guys is discriminatory. And that’s another reason why it’s so tough to be a Southerner on a college campus.
This concerted effort to cultivate negative stereotypes against Southerners is by no means confined to the South. Recently, at Arizona State University, resident assistants were asked to engage in a diversity exercise that promoted intolerance of white Southern Christians.
As part of a role-playing exercise, a white Christian student was asked to pretend that he was a gay Hispanic trying to enter a church congregation (He was playing the role of a black gay cowboy until someone made a crude joke about watermelon flavored Jolly Ranchers). He was denied entrance by a white woman who told him “his kind” wasn’t welcome, that he was an “abomination” and an “unforgivable sinner,” and that he was “going to hell” because “Jesus said so in the Bible.”
At first the incident seems like a routine attack upon orthodox Christians – all in the name of tolerance and diversity. But it isn’t. The woman playing the Christian was levying her attacks on the “gay Hispanic” in a thick fake Southern accent, which goes to show that some stereotypes are more acceptable than others in the twisted culture of cultural diversity.
(Author’s note: Some animals are considered more equal than others, too, with the possible exception of the possum and armadillo, which are generally only appreciated by poor white Southerners).
Like all of my columns on the whacky world of academia, I expect this one will bring in a lot of mail from people asking for a solution. This pervasive problem of anti-Southern bigotry does indeed demand a solution. And, fortunately, I have one.
This afternoon, I’m writing a letter to Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking her to take a leadership role by initiating and developing the first Redneck Resource Center right here at UNC-Wilmington.
After all, we already have an “African American Center,” a “Women’s Resource Center,” and a new “El Centro Hispano.” Southerners need a place where they open up a can of Lone Star, chew on some beef jerky, and maybe even have sex with a distant cousin without fear of moral condemnation.
But most of all we need a place to escape from Yankee hypocrisy and elitist social stereotypes. I hope y’all aren’t offended by the abrupt ending to this rather unusual column. Sunday dinner is just a few hours away and I’ve got a possum waiting in the oven.
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