It took a mere instant for Melissa Click to establish herself as the scowling, angry face of left-wing intolerance on college campuses. Click, of course, is the University of Missouri professor who requested ‘some muscle’ to help remove a journalist who was documenting a protest.
The scene may have reminded movie fans of Frankie Pentangeli begging Michael for ‘muscle’ to get rid of those nasty Rosato brothers in The Godfather Part II.
But back to reality and the sad fact that there are thousands of Melissa Clicks on our campuses. They are desperately searching for some excuse, any excuse, to use their two favorite words: ‘Shut up!’ If you disagree with them on any number of issues – race, climate change, radical Islam, immigration, even Halloween costumes – these modern Mussolinis demand that you just keep quiet.
As a slight bow to the First Amendment, some schools have actually set up tiny and obscure ‘free speech zones,’ reserved for lonely outcasts who wish to express an opinion not in line with prevailing doctrine.
Speaking of the Bill of Rights, it seems a lot of self-styled ‘progressives’ would prefer that it be cut by about 20%. Of course the Second Amendment is always, pardon the expression, under fire. And now the First Amendment and its guarantee of freedom of expression has become an enemy to many on the left.
After all, if Madison, Jefferson, and their comrades had not stressed the importance of unfettered speech, we could emulate those European nations where it is a crime to insult certain groups, especially religions that begin with the letter ‘I.’
So now we witness students at the University of Missouri demanding, and obtaining, the scalp (sorry!) of the school’s president. He was guilty of ‘inaction’ or some such crime against humanity. Meanwhile, at Yale, a professor was viciously and verbally abused by students for worrying that universities ‘have become places of censure and prohibition.’
Amid the chaos there are a few glimmers of hope. An editorial at Harvard called out the Yalies as ‘fascists,’ and The Daily Princetonian also ran a piece ridiculing the Yale protesters. But Yale’s president cowered in fear and wrote some jibberish about ‘fostering diversity.’ Truth is, there are few species in this world more cowardly than campus administrators. Their knee-jerk reaction to controversy is to apologize, form committees, and speak platitudes.
Want to understand what’s going on at some of our leading institutions of higher learning? Look no farther than Ithaca College in New York State, where every year of indoctrination costs parents north of $50,000. The school has proudly announced it will shell out vast sums on a diversity plan that includes a ‘safe space’ for multicultural students. Ithaca also created the new position of ‘Chief Diversity Officer.’ The salary has not been made public, but no doubt it is well into the six figures. Placating angry mobs doesn’t come cheap.
After that diversity issue is fully resolved, Ithaca may wish to revisit its nickname. ‘Bombers’ has a very militaristic tone, reminding one of the B-52s that were American tools of hegemonic and patriarchal oppression during the Cold War. Well, maybe they can fight the mascot wars another day.
The point has been made that today’s students, especially those attending elite schools, were raised to believe that America has generally been an oppressive and unfair place. Many administrators pretty much agree with that notion – after all, you don’t climb the slippery academic ladder by wearing a U.S. flag on your lapel. Patriotism is just so yesterday!
And now it’s time for universities to begin the process of inviting high-profile commencement speakers, and to consider which eminent folks are worthy of honorary degrees. In both cases, conservative thinkers are pretty much off limits. Why stir up the young fascists and give them another reason to protest and lament ‘their pain?’
There can be absolutely no doubt that the modern university, with its ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘micro-aggressions,’ has been created by the radical left. And now, to borrow from Reverend Wright, these fascistic chickens have come home to roost.
All of this chaos brings to mind the famous Pottery Barn rule that was invoked by Colin Powell when talking about Iraq. That same rule now applies to progressives and the world of academia. ‘You broke it … you own it!’