The microaggression culture has been widely documented on college campuses across the country. "Safe spaces" have popped up in response to speakers who may espouse a view that is controversial. Efforts from various diversity and inclusiveness centers on campuses are trying to root out words and change the language.It transpires that the diversicrat-in-charge is of the "free speech for me, not for thee" class. In other news, the Bears still suck. Perhaps, though, Wisconsin at Milwaukee is attempting to emulate the public Ivies, which is the default setting at Cornell.
At her inauguration as Cornell’s new president, Elizabeth Garrett said, “We must heed the call to be radical and progressive.” Later she issued apparently contradictory statements on free speech, calling herself “an avid supporter of freedom of speech” at a press event in New York. Later, she said, “Speech can be regulated. Speech has to be regulated in the narrowest possible way to serve a compelling state interest.”And the diversicrats at Milwaukee will no doubt deflect criticism by referring to the Inclusive Excellence propaganda as "suggestions." But, taking a page from the British playbook (no more "man up, cupcake" -- what happens when the kids taught in day-care about special snowflakes discover that "snowflake" is oppressive?), perhaps peer interventions will be next.
In addition, many schools have already established task forces of students who will be policing their classmates’ language and attitudes and reporting (read: tattling on) any student who dares to violate the new standards.It's gotten that creating hothouses for the freakazoid spawn of the priviligentsia is too much, even for the establishmentarians of the Washington Post, who give Catherine Rampell a forum to remind higher education of that which should be self-evident.
As someone who once wrote inflammatory columns for school newspapers, I find this thinly veiled retribution deeply saddening. Not just for sentimental reasons, and not just because student papers serve an important watchdog function unlikely to be filled by, say, the school music blog.Indeed. At the hothouses for freakazoid spawn, such as Oberlin or Wesleyan, unpopular views might be uncommon simply because of self-selection, and social ostracism. But to impose the aesthetics and commonplaces of the Trendy Left on students at public universities, which like to brag about serving first-generation, non-traditional, all the other Approved Categorities, is to deprive students of the kind of intellectual give and take that might be part of the human capital endowments of higher-status individuals.
Crippling the delivery of unpopular views is a terrible lesson to send to impressionable minds and future leaders, at Wesleyan and elsewhere. It teaches students that dissent will be punished, that rather than pipe up they should nod along.