Sunday, December 20, 2015

College dissenters

I've written a few pieces on the protests by left-wing students at various campuses in the U.S. The general pattern was that a group of these students claimed that they were so harmed by a "microaggression" that they could no longer function in life; they then demonstrated rowdily attacking anyone who did not actively join in; before successfully getting college administrators to resign and demanding that everyone on campus undertake various re-education courses.

The most adult response to this I've read is an editorial from a student newspaper at Claremont McKenna College. Titled "We dissent" it criticises both the student activists and the craven campus administrators. It's worth reading in full, but here are some highlights:
...First, former Dean Mary Spellman...we are disappointed in you as well. We are disappointed that you allowed a group of angry students to bully you into resignation.

Second, President Chodosh. We were disappointed to see you idly stand by and watch students berate, curse at, and attack Dean Spellman for being a “racist.” For someone who preaches about “leadership” and “personal and social responsibility,” your actions are particularly disappointing. You let your colleague, someone who has been helping your administration for the past three years and the college for six years, be publicly mocked and humiliated. Why? Because you were afraid. You were afraid that students would also mock and humiliate you if you defended Dean Spellman, so you let her be thrown under the bus

To our fellow Claremont students, we are disappointed in you as well. We are ashamed of you for trying to end someone’s career over a poorly worded email. This is not a political statement—this is a person’s livelihood that you so carelessly sought to destroy. We are disappointed that you chose to scream and swear at your administrators. That is not how adults solve problems, and your behavior reflects poorly on all of us here in Claremont. This is not who we are and this is not how we conduct ourselves, but this is the image of us that has now reached the national stage.

We are disappointed in your demands. If you want to take a class in “ethnic, racial, and sexuality theory,” feel free to take one, but don’t force such an ideologically driven course on all CMC students. If the dearth of such courses at CMC bothers you, maybe you should have chosen a different school.

We are disappointed in the fact that your movement has successfully managed to convince its members that anyone who dissents does so not for intelligent reasons, but due to moral failure or maliciousness. We are disappointed that you’ve used phrases like “silence is violence” to not only demonize those who oppose you, but all who are not actively supporting you.

We are adults, and we need to be mature enough to take ownership of and responsibility for our feelings, rather than demanding that those around us cater to our individual needs. The hypocrisy of advocating for “safe spaces” while creating an incredibly unsafe space for President Chodosh, former Dean Spellman, the student who was “derailing,” and the news media representatives who were verbally abused unfortunately seemed to soar over many of your heads.

Lastly, we are disappointed in students like ourselves, who were scared into silence. We are not racist for having different opinions. 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.


  1. This college is not going to restore its reputation until all these stalinists are expelled and those unjustly driven from their positions restored or appropriately compensated. Silence is not violent but in this case, inaction is certainly consent. Consenting to this sort of tyranny is only going to attract more of it.

  2. Mr. Leathy...

    These students are a product of the very institutions they seek to bring to heel.

    WHY in the world would one make concerted effort to thwart this self-induced culling?

    We all agree that a Collapse is a reality... This SHOULD INCLUDE the demise of many, many "universities." In light of all we know, this cannot be anything but good in the long term... Less stank pools of lurid ideology = less future mosquitos.