by Henry Oliner
The illiberal intolerance of diverse opinions on our college campuses has been criticized by most conservatives and a few liberals. Barack Obama chastised colleges from refusing to allow and hear opposing ideas. But the politically correct gag is still in effect and conservative professors fear the impact on their academic careers.
Black Lives Matter and #MeToo has led to hypersensitivity on race and sex. Amy Wax at the University of Pennsylvania is branded a racist because she dared to question the outcome of student affirmative action. Charles Murray was assaulted at Middlebury in Vermont as a racist. His excellent book Coming Apart studies how behavior and not race affects social outcomes. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s slander stuck and students who clearly have not read his work attacked.
More recently Kevin Williamson was ‘unhired’ by The Atlantic over comments he made about abortion and race. I have read hundreds of his articles at National Review on politics and economics, and do not recall one about race or abortion. I realize he is strongly pro-life, but I believe his comments about ‘hanging women’ was a flippant remark far out of context. Kevin is no more racist than Amy Wax or me.
The Atlantic is free to hire who they want, and every reader has the right to be offended by whatever Kevin said. If we wish to be offended there are endless reasons and comments many writers make that will serve the purpose.
I am offended that Stephen Hawking withdrew from a speaking engagement in Israel in support of the Israeli BDS movement. Should we be denied his unrelated opinions on matters of science?
This politically correct nonsense is not limited to college campuses. The left has avoided civil debate by demonizing, pathologizing and distorting speech from anyone who disagrees. Arguments are not won on merits; they are won by marginalizing the opposition and pretending that the arguments do not exist.
When racism is overused it becomes meaningless, and the true racists get a pass. When everyone is racist, effectively nobody is. The same is true of sexual sensitivity. These issues do not get resolved by alienating everyone and keeping legitimate voices always on the defensive.
It is the illiberalism of the left that should be marginalized. This obsession with white privilege is ludicrous. Those who decry Amy Wax and Charles Murray as racists are just narrow-minded idiots. Those who dwell on people rather than ideas have small and weak minds. Those who dismiss a life’s work because of a single, questionable irrelevant comment, in or out of context, are petty little tyrants.
Virtue signaling is the work of lazy fools with a delusional sense of self-importance.
These people are not worthy of engaging in conversation. They love to argue when they have no constructive point to make.
They make think they have won when the opposition finds better ways to spend their time. But their contempt will come back to them in multiples, like it did last November.