One Jenny Li has demonstrated the fruits of her Ivy League education by shutting down a speaker with views opposite her own lest any of her peers hear him and be harmed. This, Li and her fellow Brown students assure us is “free speech”. Some ideas, these elites say, are simply too dangerous for others to be exposed to.
This sort of thuggery occurs at many once-respected academic institutions, like Swarthmore, and Amherst , and the suppression of ideas runs the gamut from homosexuality to the environment to the existence of corporations to, last night at Brown, NYC’s former “stop-and-frisk” policy, but it’s all the same thing: shut down free speech on campuses and keep them safe from uncomfortable ideas.
I’ve been reading about the rise of Nazism these past couple of months, for no particular reason other than general interest, and I’ve been struck, again and again, by the similarities between then and now. Appeasement of our enemies, weak, feckless leaders, the rise of a strong man, increasing police violence against citizens, and, today, the German Student Association and its book banning movement of 1933. Back then, they collected and burned authors like Hemingway, Victor Hugo, and Hellen Keller (!) as well, of course, Jewish authors, all in the name of purification of thought. Jenny Li and his cohort are too stupid, too uneducated and too solipsistic to recognize what they’re doing, but they’re just part of the rising forces of tyranny.
The useful idiots always are. The funny thing is, they are used by people who convince them that they’re being daringly radical when in fact, they’re just tools of their masters.
I wonder whether Jenny Li’s parents came to this country with the dream that they’d raise a student adept enough at testing to get into a top university, only to become a mouthpiece of repression with dreams of a government job? Probably not.