My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:
Universities have often been cauldrons of controversy and social change. They are lodged at the fault line of youthful idealism and ancient knowledge. In recent years, far too many universities have been creating an environment of hate and oppressing free thought in the name of political correctness. One university, at least, is paying the price for going too far.
Last fall the University of Missouri was roiled by controversy. In the wake of several incidents of racism around campus, a group called “Concerned Student 1950,” a reference to the year in which MU first admitted black students, led protests demanding, among other things, the resignation of MU’s president, Thomas Wolfe, for not “doing enough” to combat racism on campus. Black football players supported the protests by refusing to practice until Wolfe resigned.
Despite the fact Wolfe and the rest of the administration were, like most liberals running universities these days, exceedingly willing to pour taxpayer dollars on the smallest fires of racism, the university caved to the students’ demands and forced him out.
This capitulation was followed by the public spectacle of MU professor Melissa Click being shown on video calling for “some muscle” to remove a photojournalist who was covering one of the race protests. She was later caught screaming obscenities at police officers at another protest. Despite one of their professor’s overt acts to suppress media coverage, even with violence, to the protests, MU officials initially stood by her actions. Later, after she was criminally charged, they finally fired her in a close vote.
MU’s actions last year sent a clear message. The people who run that university are unwilling to support the right of all students to be heard and will sacrifice anything to remain in the good graces of the racial provocateurs. The citizens of Missouri responded to that message by sending the smallest freshman class in a decade to the campus. The incoming freshman class declined by more than 1,400 students from last year as part of an overall decline in enrollment of more than 2,200 students. That is a 7-percent drop in one year. This comes as other universities in Missouri, like Missouri State University, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, are seeing strong increases in enrollment.
Contrast the stench at MU with the fresh breeze emanating from the University of Chicago. Freshman entering UC were welcomed with a letter from the dean of students informing them of the university’s “commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression.” The letter continues on to define that commitment as not supporting “so-called ‘trigger warnings,’” and saying, “We do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspective at odds with their own.”
That sort of commitment to a rigorous learning environment where all ideas are welcomed to be offered and challenged is supposed to be the ideal. Sadly, most of our universities have created an oppressive culture gilded with comforting words like “diversity” and “sensitivity” that squashes any words or thoughts that do not conform to the current politically correct doctrine. Letters like the one at UC should be welcome every incoming freshman at every American university. Instead, it is an anomaly worthy of note.
Perhaps the reaction to MU’s actions and the letter at UC represent a pivot to our nation’s universities striving for the ideal of being arenas where all ideas are welcomed to be debated and challenged.
Perhaps not, but we can hope.
Universities are some of the most intolerant places on the planet.
The more liberal the university is: usually the more intolerant the university is.
It’s as constant as the law of gravity.
“Universities are some of the most intolerant places on the planet”. FALSE
You don’t believe in science, so how can you make such a claim?
Universities are the only place I know where simple speech can get you hauled infront of a liberal firing squad thought tribunal for political incorrect thinking.
Did you even read Owen’s article where this MU professor threatened a journalist for daring to report on the liberal protest?
Liberals are replete with this kind of disgusting, oppressive, anti-free speech behavior.
How about the continued false statements made by Kevin, (hauled infront of a liberal firing squad) in the feeble attempt to convince the rational world of his persecution while at UW-M ? Please provide dates, names, locations, etc for the “firing squads”, number of fatalities, and convictions. Thanks.
By leaving “thought tribunal” off the quote you change the meaning.
There were at least 2 administrators and 8 faculty members involved in liberal speech persecution. They were all gleeful about it.
Instead of looking for ways to defend and thank me for my speech diversity, they looked for ways to punish me for not being liberal.
I know it’s difficult for you to admit that liberals are very inolerant, but they are some of the most intolerant people walking the earth.
I left it off because it wasn’t defined. What is a “thought tribunal”, and how does it relate to a firing squad?
So you whole world view is based on your inability to deal with a situation in college 20+ years ago. Maturity evades you….
You have called me a liberal numerous times, so by definition your statement, “they are some of the most intolerant people walking the earth”, is false..
Blaming the victim for vicious and intolerant campus liberalism?
Now I’ve seen everything.
A self-proclaimed victim. You let a situation from years ago dictate your life today. Sad. Pretty soon you will claim you have PTSD.
And no, you haven’t seen much of the world. That is evident by your continued inability to deal with those with different world views.
Aren’t all victims “self-proclaimed”?
What happens on judgment day to a believer who constantly criticizes others, blames everyone else for his problems, and refuses to forgive others by always bringing up their past wrongdoing?
I cannot say definitively what will happen on the Last Day to this constantly critical person because I cannot look into his heart. He may be a weak or immature believer reminiscent of the Corinthians with their habitually bad behavior (see 1 Corinthians 1:11; 3:1-3). Or he may be an unbeliever whose profession of faith is empty. But I can say that we all have to deal with critical people, even in the church, and important issues need to be identified and addressed whenever that happens.
I appreciate the fact that you are asking the question and expressing concern. It is not normal for believers to be so characteristically or chronically critical of others. We should not ignore, much less excuse, such behavior or take it lightly.
TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY
You describe a faultfinding lifestyle trait. This is disturbing. All of us have bad moments, are subject to bad moods, and can be critical at times. But the Bible describes a child of God as one whose dominant lifestyle is governed by the new man rather than the old. We’re not talking about ethical perfection, but we are talking about a discernible habitual pattern of godly attitudes and actions, fueled and maintained by the Holy Spirit through the gospel. Constant depreciation of others and an unforgiving attitude are not compatible with true faith (as James 3:9-12 and Matthew 18:21-35 illustrate well). So we take this situation seriously.
Even if faith remains, denigrating others is not living a life “worthy of the calling [we] have received” (Ephesians 4:1). There may well be serious psychological and social issues to be addressed. Most often, as the old adage says, “hurting people hurt people.” Low self-esteem and insecurity are frequently involved, and miserable people tend to prefer—or seek to create—miserable companions. Even if it’s more of a superficial matter of lacking social skills like diplomacy and tact, this is serious stuff for the Christian community, since we represent our Lord when we interact with others.
Would you like to engage in a discussion between the difference of “biblical discernment” (determining good and evil) and “criticism” as talked about in your post?
This is one of my favorite topics, even more so than liberal polotical correctnes!
I look forward to it, but I know that you had made a previous pact not to engage me.
I rest my case.
I guess you were kidding about that whole non-engaging me talk. Glad to see you aren’t taking your ball and going home anymore.
So you are saying that any determination, of any action, between good and evil, is “criticism”?
Christians are driven by the Holy Spirit, in order for their Christian love to be sincere, cling to what is good and reject what is evil. To ignore a Christian duty to indicate what is right and wrong in our daily life, leaves the perverse world to define that.
I realize that any determination of good and evil on any issue does not sit well with many of our political correct lefties in our society , but that is no reason to fail to stick up for what is good and right.
Unlike what I have been subjected to, i do not use profanity, don’t threaten physical harm, don’t threaten to harm others my opponent may know, try to stick to political issue vs. personal attack. I do recognize massive liberal intolerance for Christians and am not afraid to point that out. I consider that proper biblical discernment vs. criticism.
As I have said before, if I made a statement that challenges that distinction, i’m willing to talk about it, provided I am quoted correctly, which seems to be a challenge when this has been done in the past.