From the 'campus madness' file, please read this portion of an angry manifesto written by Sarah Lawrence College students, who are furious about a New York Times op/ed penned by a right-leaning professor at the school. The mob describes the essay as evidence of "anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-woman bigotry." As we've seen in previous "social justice" spasms, these children conclude that ideas they don't like are tantamount to a threat to the "safety and wellbeing" of "marginalized" communities -- so there'd better be hell to pay:
Students at @SarahLawrence are currently occupying the prez's office with a list of demands, including this one. Abrams' "crime" was writing an op-ed in the NYT that these students disagreed with. This sends chills up my spine. pic.twitter.com/0J0kaNmAQD— Samantha Harris (@SamatFIRE) March 12, 2019
They're "demanding" that (a) the school issue an apology for failing to "protect" students, (b) the administration formally condemn the professor, (c) the professor also publicly apologize, and (d) the professor's tenured position be put up for review before a cherry-picked kangaroo court. And what, pray tell, are the appalling thought crimes in question? Here are a few representative passages from the Times piece, published in the fall of 2018:
I recently surveyed a nationally representative sample of roughly 900 “student-facing” administrators — those whose work concerns the quality and character of a student’s experience on campus. I found that liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-to-one. Only 6 percent of campus administrators identified as conservative to some degree, while 71 percent classified themselves as liberal or very liberal. It’s no wonder so much of the nonacademic programming on college campuses is politically one-sided. The 12-to-one ratio of liberal to conservative college administrators makes them the most left-leaning group on campus. In previous research, I found that academic faculty report a six-to-one ratio of liberal to conservative professors. Incoming first-year students, by contrast, reported less than a two-to-one ratio of liberals to conservatives, according to a 2016 finding by the Higher Education Research Institute. It appears that a fairly liberal student body is being taught by a very liberal professoriate — and socialized by an incredibly liberal group of administrators...
This warped ideological distribution among college administrators should give our students and their families pause. To students who are in their first semester at school, I urge you not to accept unthinkingly what your campus administrators are telling you. Their ideological imbalance, coupled with their agenda-setting power, threatens the free and open exchange of ideas, which is precisely what we need to protect in higher education in these politically polarized times.
Imagine finding -- or pretending to find -- these ideas physically threatening. Get a grip. Prof. Abrams is effectively making the case that conservative and traditionally-minded people are marginalized groups within the Academy, and that the extreme leftward bent of administrators leads to social and ideological indoctrination. Rather than grappling with his argument, these students want him censured over it, and possibly stripped of his tenure. They're actively proving one of his points. If Sarah Lawrence administrators respond to this nonsense with anything other than a more erudite version of "pound sand," they'll be confirm his other big thesis. Sarah Lawrence is a private institution, its leaders should still reed Karol Markowitz's latest column in the New York Post. She argues, as we have, that universities that fail to safeguard core constitutional rights ought not receive taxpayer funding:
Why should we continue to help fund schools that don’t allow a free exchange of ideas?...A relatively new group, Heterodox Academy, was formed by “more than 2,500 professors, administrators and graduate students” to promote viewpoint diversity on campuses, because that’s no longer something people expect from institutions of higher learning. These aren’t necessarily conservatives — just scholars and thinkers whose ideas for whatever reason run afoul of the latest intersectionality doctrines. That such a group is so needed in colleges today, and that their goal seems like such a steep climb, is the crux of the problem. The ideological uniformity they’re fighting is exactly what leads to a shutdown of speech. When no one has a differing opinion, it’s easy to see disagreement as some sort of attack. The argument for allowing speech has progressed far beyond wanting civility. Debate would be great, but at the moment conservatives on campus would probably settle for simply being allowed to speak at all...
The schools that stand by while speech gets shut down on their campuses — or, worse, engage in direct censorship — shouldn’t receive our tax dollars to help them do that. Conservatives are in a precarious enough position in higher education, and as they beat back indoctrination by their professors, and violence and extreme marginalization against their viewpoints, they shouldn’t also have to pay for the privilege. A free exchange of ideas should be the goal, and here’s hoping groups like Heterodox Academy can achieve it. But meanwhile, colleges at a minimum should be forced to protect the freedom of people to simply speak.
I'll leave you with a clever little play by conservative students at the University of Michigan, who are advertising an upcoming Ben Shapiro lecture:
Checkmate, leftists pic.twitter.com/1vpBH2Kz1S— YAF at U-Michigan (@YAFUMich) March 11, 2019