No one really cares about the president of Missouri State being forced from office for being insufficiently supportive of 350 lb black linemen who felt threatened by assorted micro-aggressions – no one’s ever heard of MSU, at least outside of Missouri, and the very fact that those black snowflakes are referred to as “student athletes” is so laughable that the entire fracas will be buried under derisive laughter.
But how about Brown University? Admittedly, it’s the MSU of the Ivies, and also unheard of beyond its state’s borders (Delaware, I think), but it is included on the roster of the Ivy League, and so what happens there affects the prestige of the entire little elite clan.
And so what is happening there? According to the NYT, it’s puppy dogs, cookies and soft music to sooth the feelings of the little girls who stay there. In response to an announcement of a pending debate on the claim that there’s a “rape culture”on the nation’s campuses, female students went into swoons, claiming that just hearing that a debate was taking place was too distressing to bear. Brown responded immediately.
Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
There’s a proper response to this, naturally, and here it is:
MIZZOU AND YALE SHOW WHY IT’S TIME TO BURN UNIVERSITIES TO THE GROUND, Robert Tracinski writes at the Federalist. Bertolt Brecht famously advised overly harried socialist governments to simply dissolve the people and elect another. The university system is the assembly line that performs the transformation, as Tracinski writes:
The most prescient thing said about this kind of student protest culture was an observation made by Ayn Rand back during the first go-around, in the 1960s. The purpose of all the marches and sit-ins and riots, she wrote, was to condition students to accept mob rule. Here we are fifty years later, and this is quickly becoming the openly declared purpose of universities.
This is higher ed’s time for choosing. If this is the new purpose of the universities—to nurture a crop of activists trained at whipping up angry mobs, and a generation of college graduates conditioned to submit to those mobs—then there is no longer any purpose served by these institutions. There is certainly no justification for the outrageous claim they are making on the economic resources of the average family, who sends their kids to schools whose tuition has been inflated by decades of government subsidies.
The universities have done this to themselves. They created the whole phenomenon of modern identity politics and Politically Correct rules to limit speech. They have fostered a totalitarian microculture in which conformity to those rules is considered natural and expected. Now that system is starting to eat them alive, from elite universities like Yale, all the way down to, er, less-than-elite ones like Mizzou.
They created this Frankenstein monster, and it’s up to them to kill it before it kills them.
I agree – it’s time for the rest of us to stand back and remember the sage advice frequently attributed to Napoleon: Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.