A letter to The Wall Street Journal described as ironic the transformation of campus radicals from avatars of dissenting viewpoints during the 1960s into oppressive enforcers of political correctness today.
Interesting, but wrong.
Leftist thugs of the ‘60s were no different from those of today. They may have carried—may still carry—signs saying “dissent is patriotic,” but their definition of dissent was and is restrictive, an endorsement applicable to their views alone and allowing only the expression of things they want to hear.
Then and now, the Left has followed a prescribed program, awarding the self-flattering label of “dissent” to what is really nothing but a campaign to exterminate all viewpoints the Left finds inharmonious with its wishes of the moment.
All this is pertinent because another respected Wisconsin institution, Lawrence University, is busily seeking ways to bargain with students who probably ought to just be told it’s time to grow up.
The eternal urge to punish competing ideas may be the province of academia even more than of politics, but academics not deceived by their sector’s carefully crafted self-image ought to have apprehended two things long ago.
First, the surrender to leftist bullying, dressed up respectably as a commitment to “diversity,” in fact permits only conformity. Second, insistence on the suppression of competing views betrays a fundamental insecurity that can be defeated by anyone willing to endure the unpleasantness of witnessing a tantrum.
Lawrence has made the odd gesture of apologizing for offensive graffiti on campus—as if someone were under the impression that a serious university might condone racist graffiti—and has pledged to hire an Associate Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. Director of Pandering, for short.
A hint for college administrators everywhere: Conceding to bullies doesn’t make them go away.