Back to the Atlantic, courtesy Conor Friedensdorf, sniffing delicately at
Those who purport to speak for marginalized students at elite colleges sometimes expose serious shortcomings in the way that their black, brown, or Asian classmates are treated, and would expose flaws in the way that religious students and ideological conservatives are treated too if they cared to speak up for those groups. I’ve known many Californians who found it hard to adjust to life in the Ivy League, where a faction of highly privileged kids acculturated at elite prep schools still set the tone of a decidedly East Coast culture. All else being equal, outsiders who also feel like racial or ethnic “others” typically walk the roughest road of all.
That may well be true at Yale.
That’s it, Conor, start right in by buying the grown-up schoolyard bully’s line that he abuses others because of his own wounded feelings.
That’s almost never true. It’s not true in the slums, the ghettos, the refugee camps, or any place that kid might have grown up.
The kid is someone who takes out his frustrations by abusing others. = a bully. Period.
He is stopped when someone stops him.
Do NOT expect campus admins, suffering from inflated salaries and diminished shared values to do anything about the atmosphere he creates except cater to it, uttering mild deprecations:
But none of that excuses the Yale activists who’ve bullied these particular faculty in recent days. They’re behaving more like Reddit parodies of “social-justice warriors” than coherent activists, and I suspect they will look back on their behavior with chagrin. The purpose of writing about their missteps now is not to condemn these students. Their young lives are tremendously impressive by any reasonable measure. They are unfortunate to live in an era in which the normal mistakes of youth are unusually visible. To keep the focus where it belongs I won’t be naming any of them here. More.
Reality check: The baby thugs are not Reddit parodies of “social-justice warriors,” any more than Islamic terrorists are cartoon figures.
But there is always a politician or bureaucrat out there to take the money and freedom of those who choose to be told stuff like that. (Many such people are government union members or benefits recipients themselves, and may already lack the freedom and self-respect to see it all for what it is.)
So far, the only interim remedies I can think of are,
1. Stop donating as an alumnus if your alma mater does not adopt a strict, meaningful charter of free speech for all students and faculty. And enforce it. Don’t feel bad. It is not the college that educated you any more anyway. Just the bricks, that’s all. The baby fascist you don’t support is coming for you anyway, but you didn’t help give him the weapons. Let progressive governments do that.
2. Encourage governments to follow Japan’s proposed lead and eliminate funding for the baby thug nurseries (humanities). It’s really the STEM subjects we all need, in the strict sense of what governments can legitimately require people to help fund.
It’s one thing to expect us to help fund oour local medical school; another to expect us to fund attacks on our civil liberties by 20-year-old know-knothings, full of rage and angst—and the expectation of real power to “transform society” one day.
3. Carry gravol. One will need to endure many safe, pious ninnies making excuses for the people who would jail them or cut their throats — and remain civil.
Dear pampered little asshats, …