Oct 27, 2016 0
From The Weekly Standard, The Roots of Campus Leftism by Warren Treadgold
Campus leftism has been much less concerned with helping the supposedly oppressed than with demonizing the supposed oppressors. The allegedly oppressed who fail to recognize their oppression, like women who want traditional roles as wives and mothers, were lectured on their need for “raised consciousness.” Radical white professors had to teach minority students to recognize seemingly inoffensive remarks and actions as “microaggressions” to be resented. Yet anyone with a real concern for the interests of women and minorities should realize that telling them to be outraged by, say, a Halloween costume or the name of a football team discourages them from positive efforts to help themselves and encourages them to antagonize people who would otherwise be sympathetic to them. Anyone with a real concern for blacks should want police protection for the many blacks in danger of being terrorized and murdered by black criminals. Anyone with a real concern for people confused about their sexuality should be reluctant to encourage them to undergo drastic and largely irreversible surgery. Nonetheless, the question of whether leftist social engineering causes more misery than it relieves is irrelevant if the only permissible motive is to combat oppressors and to defend the identities of the oppressed.
The paradigm of oppressors and oppressed explains combinations of dogmas that can otherwise seem inconsist-ent. It may seem incongruous to insist that sexual orientation cannot be chosen but gender can; but both positions serve to stigmatize as unjust and oppressive conservative and religious views that homosexuality and transgenderism are unnatural. Animal rights are important if the animals are oppressed by capitalists; but a right to life for an unborn child can be ignored if oppressive religious traditionalists defend it. That American blacks are almost six times more likely to be imprisoned than whites is a scandal because blacks are oppressed and whites are oppressors; but that men are almost 14 times more likely to be imprisoned than women is no problem, because men are oppressors and women are oppressed.