Saturday, March 26, 2016

Are They Infants or Are They Adults?

This article about a student protest at Emory University over anonymous support for the candidacy of Donald Trump is difficult to believe. Notice it has elements of the Anthrotheism theory I've outlined before. The students are yelling, "You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!" Pain caused by sidewalk chalkings that indicate some of their peers disagree with them. And the university administration needs to validate these feelings, because the atheist worldview doesn't allow for taking consolation in God's awareness of your troubles. A student said the university needs "to acknowledge all of us here." This is what people used to get from their relationship with God.

Notice also how the 1st Amendment is turned on its head: now allowing for speech is seen as approval of that speech. These students demanded the university release a statement specifying that "the university" disagrees with the anonymous student's political opinions. The university president specifically said he would not do that, and then the next day he did. (In that statement, he also specified the university's "commitment to an annual retreat to renew our efforts." Man, you know you have a rough job when your duties involve releasing statements about your plan to take a vacation and engage in a bull session.)

Notice, also, that we're now being told that "people of color are struggling academically because they are so focused on trying to have a safe community...." I don't doubt that many students' academic performance suffers when they become full-time Social Justice Warriors. But why do they need to become SJWs? How did a country led by a black president become so intolerably racist?

Finally, notice the university's support for hard-core navel gazing ("I think it's wonderful that students are taking a stand...for something that's so much about themselves--and we want to support that," said Assistant Vice President for Community Suzanne Onorato). Students used to go to university to learn about the world outside themselves. Now they're being encouraged to turn their focus even more onto themselves.

Nowhere in this article is there a question about the chilling effects of freedom of speech: a student expressed his political opinions and the entire apparatus of the university is out to find and reeducate him. If security footage implicates a student, the student "will go through the conduct violation process." There's no think like groupthink.

Meanwhile, all restrictions on sexual conduct are being removed at universities because "students are adults." These antithetical trends need to be aligned: either students are so immature that they need to be sheltered from every opinion different from their own (in which case they are so immature that they need to be sheltered from the physical and emotional dangers inherent in human sexuality), or students are so mature that they can make fully-informed decisions regarding all aspects of sex and reproduction (in which case they are so mature they can see sidewalk chalkings expressing different opinions and not hold an hysterical protest). You can't have it both ways.

I've had to recently explain what my seniors should expect to find when they get to American university. I told them that political correctness is not that different from what they already know: there are ideas you can't express in public. The difference, though, is that in China the enforcement comes from the government, and in America it comes from your peers. I told them that universities used to be places you went to be confronted with new ideas to help you determine what is objective truth, but now it is a place you go to learn arguments to confirm your pre-existing biases. Here we see both aspects: a student who supports Donald Trump will now be persecuted for it, and the traumatized students have learned innovative new ways to describe their "pain" instead of learning how to deal with differing opinions.

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