We have yet another case this week of what we see on pretty much every college campus these days: a bunch of coddled children who have a fit when they find out that in the real world no one cares about your feels and mommy and daddy aren’t around anymore to wipe your nose and tell you how clever and special you are.
Watch the University of Missouri student journalist (who is AWESOME, I hope he gets a great job in journalism out of college) give these dumb fascist children a lesson in the First Amendment…and then stick around to watch a Mizzou media professor ask for some “muscle” to remove the student journalist (click to the last minute of the embedded video below or just click on that link) from covering the protest. Incredible. Incredible.
So, in case you’re not caught up, a few students forced the resignation of Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri, because he didn’t provide an adequate “safe space” for them. And these “safe spaces,” according to some of the protestors, mean “black spaces” with no white people allowed.
One child (who is about as privileged as they come) went on a hunger strike until Tim Wolfe either provided a “safe space” or resigned. Those who are targeted by crazies have to get a lot better at saying “I don’t care.” The correct response when some dumb kid tells you he’s going to starve himself to death unless you give him a ‘safe space’ is “ok, RIP.”
You would think. Anyway, these students felt the campus was seething with racism because one kid claims a guy in a pickup truck drove by one night and yelled a racial epithet at him. There is also a claim that someone made a poop swastika in a dorm bathroom, although there are no witnesses, no photos, no evidence WHATSOEVER that this actually happened. The students are also mad that Mizzou’s president didn’t come out in support of Michael Brown because apparently that’s something the president of a university is supposed to weigh in on, for some reason. The only claim that seems to have any legitimacy is an incident where a drunk student verbally harassed a group of black students (he has been removed from campus, pending disciplinary procedures). So, there really wasn’t a legitimate reason Tim Wolfe needed to resign. There is no intense atmosphere of racism on campus and the isolated incident that did occur was dealt with. These students did this simply because they could – this is about power – and because they are absolute coddled children. As Rich Lowry put it: “This is the insatiable voice of children who object at the insufficiency of their coddling. In another outrage, no one powders the bottoms of Mizzou students after they go potty.” Here’s Noah Rothman along similar lines: “It is a display of rage from underdeveloped young adults who have been thrust into a world they are unable to understand or navigate.”
Here are the facts: Drunk people often are unpleasant; Michael Brown was a criminal who got himself shot by attacking a police officer; racism is a distinctly minor factor in American public affairs, less significant, in fact, than phony accusations of racism; if Mizzou never plays another quarter of football, the world will go on; University of Missouri students desperately need to grow the hell up and start acting like adults. As someone once said: Life is hard, and it’s harder if you’re stupid. College is intended to be a place for education, but all the evidence coming out of the University of Missouri suggests that something close to the opposite of education is going on there, a willful cultivation of the worst juvenile instincts. Even at $7,000 a year, that’s a bad deal for students, parents, and taxpayers alike.
I will say it gives me immense pleasure to see liberal professors and administrators face to face with the monsters they created. That being said, the parents are certainly to blame too. Kevin Williamson has a great piece called “Yale’s Idiot Children” where he touches on this root of the problem. Joy Pullmann expands on the parent problem in great detail over at The Federalist. Robert Tracinski has an excellent article on why it’s time to “burn the universities to the ground”:
There is an old debate about whether the purpose of education is to “socialize” students, to train them in conformity to the assumption and norms of the era—or whether the purpose of education is to, you know, actually teach people stuff, to give them the knowledge and tools they need to become effective, independent thinkers. The mob at Yale knows where it stands. To hell with all that intellectual stuff. We want the university to enforce conformity by complying with whatever demands we laid down in our latest tantrum.
Notice also that all this claptrap about “safe spaces” is a dodge. The protesters are so concerned about “safe spaces” that they formed into an angry mob to surround a lone individual and shout obscenities at him. Where is the safe space for the Christakises? Obviously, this isn’t about safety and comfort at all. It’s about raw power. It’s about whose demands will get met whenever they make them—and who will be sacrificed to those demands. The most prescient thing said about this kind of student protest culture was an observation made by Ayn Rand back during the first go-around, in the 1960s. The purpose of all the marches and sit-ins and riots, she wrote, was to condition students to accept mob rule. Here we are fifty years later, and this is quickly becoming the openly declared purpose of universities.
This is higher ed’s time for choosing. If this is the new purpose of the universities—to nurture a crop of activists trained at whipping up angry mobs, and a generation of college graduates conditioned to submit to those mobs—then there is no longer any purpose served by these institutions. There is certainly no justification for the outrageous claim they are making on the economic resources of the average family, who sends their kids to schools whose tuition has been inflated by decades of government subsidies. The universities have done this to themselves. They created the whole phenomenon of modern identity politics and Politically Correct rules to limit speech. They have fostered a totalitarian microculture in which conformity to those rules is considered natural and expected. Now that system is starting to eat them alive, from elite universities like Yale, all the way down to, er, less-than-elite ones like Mizzou. They created this Frankenstein monster, and it’s up to them to kill it before it kills them.
There is no evidence that the University of Missouri denies equal opportunity to its black students; those black students, like every other student on campus, are surrounded by lavish educational resources, available to them for the asking on a color-blind basis. The university’s faculty and administrators are surely among the most prejudice-free, well-meaning group of adults in human history. Thousands of Chinese students would undoubtedly do anything for the chance to be “systemically oppressed” by the University of Missouri’s stupendous laboratories and research funding…This shocking video is a glimpse of the future—the boorish, hate-filled Cultural Revolution come to America. Colleges have capitulated completely to delusional victimology; unless employers are willing to stand up against the coddled products of the academic hothouse, we may all soon be living in a world of screaming, monomaniacal victims.
You know who didn’t demand “safe spaces” because someone “microaggressed” them? Civil rights protestors half a century ago, because they were dealing with actual systemic racism. A real problem. Stephen Miller writes:
Unlike the civil-rights era demonstrators whose mantle these students would like to assume, theirs is a culture of protest fed in large part by a bored and relatively coddled generation under the misguided belief that they are growing up in a world without a purpose of their own. Therefore a purpose has to be created and history misread. This behavior can’t be wholly blamed on the younger generation — professors tasked with educating them should know better.
The form their protest has taken is summed up well in a now-deleted tweet from the CS1950 Twitter account pontificating that “it’s typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces.” The irony of a progressive campus group agitating for racial justice with calls for preserving “black spaces” after their activist forefathers sacrificed so much fighting against desegregation cannot go unnoticed. As Charles Cooke noted on Twitter, Rosa Parks was one of the first to take a stand against black spaces. Governor George Wallace, on the other hand, believed that blacks should have their own private spaces on a college campus.
Campus groups like Black Lives Matter and CS1950 don’t seem to understand that this is not Selma and this is not Berkeley. If an activist group claims that what they are fighting against is systematic oppression, and they are doing so on the public grounds of a university where they attend and are able to speak freely, then they aren’t systematically oppressed.
Jamie Kirchick has a good piece on this as well:
When I hear, in 2015, students complain about feeling “marginalized” at Yale due to their racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, or any other identity—and, on top of this, demanding institutional retribution against those who mildly express viewpoints they don’t agree with and sartorial injunctions on pagan bacchanal holiday garb—I can’t help but think of James Meredith. Meredith was the first black student to attend the segregated University of Mississippi and had to do so under the cover of heavily armed federal marshals. When I see photographs of Meredith and other black students of the civil rights era staring down state-sanctioned American racism—not the rumored antics of inebriated frat boys or emails from well-meaning child developmental psychologists about the propriety of certain Halloween costumes—I don’t see people pleading for Dean’s Excuses so they can huddle in a “safe space” to recover from “traumatic racial events.” I see unbelievably courageous young men and women who, by keeping their heads high, exposed their spittle-flecked antagonists as the bigoted Neanderthals they were and changed this country for the better.
Upon reading about last week’s controversy, I originally felt irritation with the protesting students…my initial anger eventually gave way to disappointment, as I realized that these students have not been equipped with the intellectual or emotional tools required for operating in a disputatious society. That inability to confront ideas one doesn’t like and engage respectfully with those whom one disagrees with is not only a failure on the part of the individual students, but of the society that has produced them. What we’re witnessing at Yale are the abysmal consequences of a decades-long inculcation of identity politics and grievance mongering, which hold that the relative virtue of an argument is directly proportional to the professed “marginalization” of its proponent, and it is destroying the ideal of a liberal education…apparently no adults in these young peoples’ lives have informed them that shouting in the face of a professor, hurling imprecations at those who question their assumptions, and then demanding refuge from the tempestuous waves of intellectual discourse in the form of a “safe space” where their fatuous notions go unchallenged, is behavior befitting a toddler, not an undergraduate at one of America’s premier institutions of higher learning.
Unfortunately, Yale appears to be letting the inmates take over the asylum. Instead of explaining to these students how their behavior is inconsistent with the minimum requirements of responsible adulthood, various administrators, including the University’s president, have pandered to the heckler’s veto, lauding their “thoughtful and constructive suggestions.” If the administration is truly committed to equipping young people for the real world and not a chimerical fantasyland where they never have to hear something disagreeable, the best thing it could do, both for their sake and Yale’s sacred mission, is tell them to grow up.
To top it all off, yesterday Mizzou sent out a campus-wide e-mail telling the children to report “hurtful speech” to the police. I kid you not. That happened. Oh, the irony.
The First Amendment – arguably the most vital ingredient to a free republic – is dying. It’s encouraging to see that some on the Left are actually bothered by all of this. But it’s probably too late. Enjoy the decline of the greatest, freest nation on Earth and the rise of the idiot fascist children, everybody. It’s not going to be a fun ride down, and Americans only have themselves to blame.