Here is Coyote’s take on the intellectual environment on college campuses, and the recent “news” at Yale (I copied his entire post below):
After giving Holloway his comeuppance, they moved on to Nicholas Christakis, master of Silliman College. What was Christakis’s crime? His wife, an early childhood educator, had responded to a campus-wide email about offensive Halloween costumes by opining that it was inappropriate for the college to tell students how to dress. According to The Washington Post:
“Whose business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? It’s not mine, I know that,” wrote Erika Christakis, an early childhood educator and the wife of Nicholas Christakis, the Silliman College master. Both later took to social media to defend the e-mail, incensing students by tying it to debates about free speech and trigger warnings. At a Wednesday night forum hosted by the Afro-American Cultural Center, Erika Christakis sought to leave the meeting during a discussion of her e-mail, further provoking student anger. …
Students grew distressed, with one shouting at Nicholas Christakis to be quiet and questioning why he took the position at the university. “You are a poor steward of this community,” the student said. “You should not sleep at night.”
I guess the question is whether colleges like Yale are preferentially choosing students with this authoritarian mindset, or whether they are training them to be authoritarian. In either case, they seem to be reaping what they sowed.
This story reminds me of two past observations I have made about universities. The first is that their diversity programs, despite Universities being intellectual institutions, focus on absolutely everything (from skin pigmentation to reproductive plumbing) except diversity of ideas. Perhaps this is because the only way to achieve “safe space” as defined by these students is either to create an intellectual mono-culture (the opposite of diversity) or to suppress speech and idea sharing so much that no intellectual discourse happens at all. Definitely your classic “reap what you sow” situation.
The second observation is that I once thought that a key goal of “diversity” was to eliminate the in-group/ out-group dynamic that has been so destructive through all of history. But I am increasingly convinced that the true objective of diversity programs as practiced on university campuses is to simply shift the “out-group” tag from one set of people to another. More horrible things are said on campus about whites, males, Asians, wealthy people, straights, frats, etc than I ever heard in my entire lifetime from anyone about, say, African Americans.
Just look at how most Ivy League schools treat Asians. The discrimination that occurs against Asian students is amazing, with Asians having to produce SAT scores hundreds of points higher than any other group to have an equal chance of admission. This is why, despite all my support over the years for my alma mater, I quit doing college interviews for Princeton — I got tired of being a part of hosing all the hard-working Asian kids I was interviewing.