There's an open letter to the Daily Bruin being circulated among UCLA faculty about how the faculty is united to defend our students of color, LGTBQ, etc.... And how UCLA is a safe space for them.
There is no mention of the increasingly violent riots--yes, riots. There is no mention of numerous trumped up (pun intended) false claims being made. There is no acknowledgement that not everybody at UCLA voted for Hillary. There is no acknowledgement that such a letter might alienate conservative faculty and students, making the former wonder about whether UCLA is a safe place for them to work and the latter whether it is a safe place to go to school.
Do you think a similar letter would have circulated to reassure our conservative students if Hillary had won? Do you think faculty would be united to offer those students a safe space?
No? Me neither.
Glenn Reynold addresses these issues in his latest USA Today column, observing that:
Trump’s substantial victory, when most progressives expected a Hillary landslide, came as a shock to many. That shock seems to have been multiplied in academe, where few people seem to know any Trump supporters — or, at least, any Trump supporters who’ll admit to it.
The response to the shock has been to turn campuses into kindergarten.
He then gives the reader a quick run through of the way schools like Michigan, Penn, Stanford, Cornell, and so on have held counseling sessions, play sessions, puppy sessions, crying sessions, and so on. Then he gets to the meat of the problem:
It’s easy to mock this as juvenile silliness — because, well, it is juvenile silliness of the sort documented in Frank Furedi’s What Happened To The University? But that’s not all it is. It’s also exactly what these schools purport to abhor: An effort to marginalize and silence part of the university community.
... when you treat an election in which the “wrong” candidate wins as a traumatic event on a par with the 9/11 attacks, calling for counseling and safe spaces, you’re implicitly saying that everyone who supported that “wrong” candidate is, well, unsafe. Despite the talk about diversity and inclusion, this is really sending the signal that people who supported Trump — and Trump carried the state of Michigan, so there are probably quite a few on campus — aren’t really included in acceptable campus culture. It’s not promoting diversity, it’s enforcing uniformity. It’s not promoting inclusion, it’s practicing exclusion. And, though it pretends to be about nurturing, it’s actually about being mean to those who don’t fall in the nurtured class. Schlissel says he wants the University of Michigan to be “a welcoming place for all members of society,” but how welcome can students who backed Trump feel in the wake of this performance?
Precisely. I'm nearing retirement (7 years), have an established reputation as a conservative curmudgeon so none of this should come as a surprise to anybody, and have a achieved a certain degree of success in my field (if I may say so) that (I think) insulates me from the worst risks of speaking out (fingers crossed). And who knows, I may end up as the next SEC Chairman yet. But what about the junior faculty? Or the students? Who protects them?
And what about the country?
A viral (and profane) YouTube rant by Jonathan Pie points out that this sort of fear and “othering” of political opponents is why Trump won, and why Democrats were shocked by his victory. Pie’s right to tell people that they should engage in discussion rather than dismissal of people they disagree with, and colleges and universities should listen to him.
If, that is, it’s not too triggering.