At Yale, yes even Yale, students and the administration seem confused about the nature of the rights of the people. One can easily find the right to free speech specifically mentioned in the US Constitution but one would be hard pressed to find a right to not be offended. Yale officials and many students seem convinced there is supposed to be a “balance” between the two. Did you ever notice how this “balance” often leads to sacrificing the right to free speech?
As Liam Stack puts it in his New York Time article Yale’s Halloween Advice Stokes a Racially Charged Debate:
The debate over Halloween costumes began late last month when the university’s Intercultural Affairs Committee sent an email to the student body asking students to avoid wearing “culturally unaware and insensitive” costumes that could offend minority students. It specifically advised them to steer clear of outfits that included elements like feathered headdresses, turbans or blackface.
A Yale faculty member, Erika Christakis, tried to defend free speech rights:
“Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious … a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?” she wrote. “American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.”
As Stack continues describing the situation, we find out the impetus for restricting free speech at Yale is a “safe space” some students feel entitled to:
Ms. Christakis’s email also led to at least one heated encounter on campus between her husband, Nicholas Christakis, a faculty member who works in the same residential college, and a large group of students who demanded that he apologize for the beliefs expressed by him and his wife, which they said failed to create a “safe space” for them.
Curiously, while most people tend to understand college is intended to be a temporary experience where young adults spend time learning new things and finding a more open introduction to different people with differing views, the brilliant minds at Yale apparently have a different take on what college life is supposed to be:
“You should step down!” one student shouted at Mr. Christakis, while demanding between expletives to know why Yale had hired him in the first place. “It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! Do you understand that? It is about creating a home here!”
“You’re supposed to be our advocate!” another student yelled.
“You are a poor steward of this community!” the first student said before turning and walking away. “You should not sleep at night! You are disgusting.”
So, according to the enlightened, coddled students at Yale, college is not about “creating an intellectual space”. No, it is really about “creating a home”.
These people have a backwards view of the world. Shame on Yale University for fostering this childish, closed minded, and frankly anti-intellectual environment. And, sadly, Yale is not alone. This tragic and regressive situation is already quite common among American higher education, and becoming more common each year.
It is not conservatives who have done this. Conservative ideals are not even known by the majority of college administrators or students. The only notion of “conservative” is a caricature liberals have invented, a straw man that doesn’t really exist. This is the natural result of liberalism’s deeply held value of “political correctness”. PC is about avoiding offense, and necessarily includes destroying free speech rights.
In the name of open mindedness, a closed mind is fostered. In the name of diversity, homogeneity is enforced. In the name of tolerance, intolerance and bigotry have become the standard. In the efforts to achieve a more enlightened society, racism, sexism, _______ism has been weaponized to shut up anyone challenging the progressive agenda – even college professors who support that same agenda. Do you think I’m exaggerating? Sadly, no.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: progressive is actually regressive.
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