The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Only the Left

It's a story that is no longer a surprising. Heather McDonald, a respected researcher and columnist who focuses on the police and their interaction with upban communities, was shouted down in a near riot at Claremont College and the previous night a lesser incident at UCLA. McDonald had the temerity to present facts about black on black violence and ask why black-lives-matter protesters seems far less concerned about the fact that an order of magnitude more blacks are killed by gang and criminal violence in inner cities than would ever be killed by the police.

The details of this attack on free speech are all too familiar, but it's McDonald's concluding comment that deserved consideration:
Last week’s events should be the final wakeup call to the professoriate, coming on the heels of the more dangerous attacks on Charles Murray at Middlebury College and the riots in Berkeley, California, against Milo Yiannapoulos. When speakers need police escort on and off college campuses, an alarm bell should be going off that something has gone seriously awry. Of course, an ever-growing part of the faculty is the reason that police protection is needed in the first place. Professors in all but the hardest of hard sciences increasingly indoctrinate students in the belief that to be a non-Asian minority or a female in America today is to be the target of nonstop oppression, even, uproariously, if you are among the privileged few to attend a fantastically well-endowed, resource-rich American college. Those professors also maintain that to challenge that claim of ubiquitous bigotry is to engage in “hate speech,” and that such speech is tantamount to a physical assault on minorities and females. As such, it can rightly be suppressed and punished. To those faculty, I am indeed a fascist, and a white supremacist.

Hyperbole is part and parcel of political speech. But I would hope that there are some remaining faculty with enough of a lingering connection to reality who would realize that I and other conservatives are not a literal threat to minority students. To try to prevent me or other dissenting intellectuals from connecting with students is simply an effort to maintain the Left’s monopoly of thought. The fact that this suppression goes under the title of “anti-fascism” is particularly rich. I am reluctant to wield the epithet “fascist” as promiscuously as my declared opponents do. But it must be observed that if campus conservatives tried to use physical force to block Senator Elizabeth Warren, say, from giving a speech, the New York Times would likely put the obstruction on the front page and the phrase “fascist” would be flying around like a swarm of hornets, followed immediately by the epithet “misogynist.”
Ahh, but it's only the Left that can use those terms against those who disagree, only the Left that can decide what speech is protected, and only the Left that has a monopoly on what is just and moral. Only the Left.


William McGurn comments on the treatment of heather McDonald and the far more important free speech crisis that has enveloped colleges and university across the country:
Today it’s common to lament the cheap and polarized politics in Washington. But no one asks whether this might have something to do with a generation of students indulged in the view that they should never have to hear an opinion different from their own. How much easier it is to bang on windows, block an entryway and drop your F-bombs than, say, engage the formidable Ms. Mac Donald in genuine argument.

In his autobiography “Out of Step,” Sidney Hook spoke about his own academic trajectory. When he started out, he said, he believed that “intelligence was the supreme virtue.” But in the Vietnam era, when he watched faculty and administrators who knew better surrender to student radicals, Hook realized his mistake: He had, he said, taken “for granted the operation of moral courage.”

Only a few months ago, Claremont McKenna signed on to the University of Chicago statement emphasizing an “institutional commitment to freedom of speech.” But Thursday night, it failed Ms. Mac Donald, the members of its community who were prevented from asking her questions, and its own principles. The college will fail again if it does not enforce the ground rules of university life against those who maraud across its campus with an intolerance fed by an overweening sense of righteousness.

What these kids need—their behavior makes it hard to call them students—are college presidents and faculty with enough confidence to say: Check your privilege, or we’ll check it for you.
Not when many in the school's administration and most of the faculty are as far left as the student agitators who believe that only speech they approve can be presented.