The libertarian website Reason.com was wondering if liberal college students really do hate free speech as much as they seem to. They decided that the best way to figure things out would be to ask students directly.
Reason picked Occidental College in California as the place to ask their questions. They chose Occidental because the faculty there is currently considering instituting a new system for students to report faculty members (or other students) for “microaggressions.”
The proposal, dubbed the “Plan of Action,” was created by Occidental’s Faculty Council, which governs academic affairs on campus. Reason obtained a draft of the proposal, which will be presented to the entire Occidental faculty at a meeting on Tuesday. From its introduction:
We recognize and are inspired by the leadership of Oxy United for Black Liberation and their call for widespread institutional changes in the culture of the College. We affirm that Black lives matter and also affirm the broader ideals of social justice to which their call speaks. We recognize that the structural racism and other forms of oppression of the College violate our commitment to ensuring equity and excellence in our educational programs for all of our students. We also acknowledge that our collective inaction as a faculty body makes us complicit in the failures of the College to make our Mission a lived reality. For this we apologize for failing you, our students…
Perhaps most worrying, the plan calls for a microaggression monitoring system that would allow students to report faculty members for offending them. The plan explains that this is necessary to correct “power imbalances between faculty and students.” But students will have too much power if they are granted the right to be safe from microaggressions—which are, by their very nature, subjective and relatively inconsequential. How are professors supposed to teach if they have to worry about being reported and investigated for unknowingly saying the wrong thing to a student?
With all of this in mind, Reason travelled to Occidental to figure out just how fascist the students there were.
Of course, the students all said that they support and value free speech. However, when push came to shove, they proved that they were as anti-free speech as the most hardened fascists of WWII.
“If you say ‘You’re less of a person because you’re Muslim/Jewish/Christian/Catholic… that’s not okay. That’s a hate crime,” one student told us.
Another student argued that the government should curtail the speech of Donald Trump, while a protest organizer told us that free speech is a rhetorical device used by the privileged against the oppressed.
The students (and their professors) at Occidental College are yet more evidence that the liberal agenda is actively working to shut down opposition in every corner of the nation. They have decided that freedom is less important than getting their way. It’s just sad.