Friday, November 27, 2015

Not All College Students are Intimidated

From the Wall Street Journal:
Not least among those welcoming the respite of Thanksgiving must be the nation’s college and university administrators. After student protests evicted Tim Wolfe as president of the University of Missouri, officials at other institutions of higher learning (if we may still call them that) were harassed by shouting or otherwise threatening students. At Princeton University, students occupied the office of the school’s president, Christopher Eisgruber, demanding that he throw Woodrow Wilson down the memory hole.

Even at the remove of several weeks, it is remarkable to recall that the disturbance at Yale University was over “offensive” Halloween costumes. But amid the protests, some important principles are now at risk, notably free speech. We asked at the time where the adults were on campus—either school presidents or boards of trustees? The answer, so far, is that most have caved like wet cardboard. The most hopeful adult response has come from 18- to 22-year olds—the students themselves.

At Claremont McKenna, where a dean was driven from office over a supposedly objectionable email, the student editors of the Claremont Independent published “We Dissent.”

The editors took themselves to task for not speaking out earlier. But no more. Their editorial ended: “We are not immoral because we don’t buy the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement. We are not evil because we don’t want this movement to tear across our campuses completely unchecked. We are no longer afraid to be voices of dissent.”

This political courage may be catching on. At Princeton last week, students under the banner of the Open Campus Coalition sent President Eisgruber their own strong statement of dissent. It describes a student body intimidated to silence by the likelihood of being vilified, in public or on social media. It ends: “Princeton undergraduates opposed to the curtailment of academic freedom refuse to remain silent out of fear of being slandered.” They signed their names and class years, and we hope their professors don’t dock their grades for thinking for themselves.

With campus administrators and faculty cowed by political correctness run amok, these students are shaping a movement of principled, civilized dissent. Let’s hope it grows.
So where are the dissenters on the Marquette campus? Turning Point USA has an honorable history. The College Republicans have hardly been heard from. Where are other conservative student groups?

In fact, we know the answer: campus leftists are aggressive and intolerant, and it takes a lot of guts to face them down. Most students don’t want the grief, so they speak up when anonymity is guaranteed, in such places as the Climate Survey and Yik Yak. But like most people most of the time they simply withdraw in order to avoid the bullies.

But the few who don’t count as heroes.

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Blogger Nat Ons said...

Ah! But, MW, your post - or its rhetoric - seem to be part of the problem. What if, as a student, a careerist teacher, an adult, or a faithful Catholic one is also 'left' of fascism (in terms of power, finance, politics, society, what have you)? A liberal, in common parlance, as in reading GK Chesterton and understanding him (with approval, if guardedly), or let's say socially concerned, as in actually applying the teachings of Leo XIII, Pius XI, XII, John Paul II etc, this does not seem to fit into your vision of the US of A's ideal Republicanism (so often a sad fantasy, and not only today [I am old enough to recall 'I Like Ike' (which a great many Europeans and not a few Americans did, with good reason)].

It is a form of faux Conservatism, btw, that strikes me as no more truly Catholic than rank Communism - being, that is, only an ordinary European, most-definitely-left-of-the-extreme-right, with Adenaur, Pius XI, Pius XII, et al; a BellChester then (rather than a Chesterbelloc [LOL]), that is, a Leonist more than a Franciscanist, and above all, a Sacred Tradition loving (the real thing, not a tradition-for-tradition's-sake neo-trad) Catholic.

I applaud your call to arms - in rhetoric, publishing, witness, and indomitability - against the Hudge and Gudge, the drudge and grudge of Modernist politics, and pray great success for it, but only in so far as it does witness to the Catholic Faith .. and that, after all, is your desire, vocation, mission, purpose and patent fulfillment.

Do not, if at all possible, link the just and proper divergences in sincere political struggles (left, right, or centre) with the Catholic Faith. Such a link diminishes the divine gift of the Faith while magnifying mere human opinion or effort, especially glorifying the efforts of the wicked or bemused. Keep up the good fight, but recall whom we fight, his wiles, deceits, and confusions; also Whom we fight for, in all we do (even in so filthy a job as politics [on campus, at work, in parliament, through the streets], it is the philosophy, and thus the moral reason, that matters not the media tags).

Apologies if I appear solely negative or grumpy or contrary .. I really do follow your work and appreciate it; please God more may join you - and pronto.



5:16 AM  

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