What is the purpose of higher education?
Is it not to expand the mind?
Explore the free exercise of thought?
Teach a person how to defend their views of the world?
Is it not to create a well-rounded person to be productive thinkers and members of society with the ultimate quest of giving back to the world in service?
How is it then that universities in America have been places to shut down free thought?
On March 21 Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was all aflutter because someone wrote "Trump 2016" in chalk on the sidewalks around the campus. Some of the students, no doubt indoctrinated as leftists, complained to the college president that they no longer "feel" safe.
There they go again with feelings as they leave their brains at the college door.
Imagine, if you will, some right-leaning students freaking out with some Clinton 2016 chalk drawings on a college campus. It will take imagination because you won't see it. You don't see conservative students freaking out and trying to shut down free speech when it involves a left-leaning candidate.
A group of 40 to 50 students on the Emory campus protested in the student quad area: "You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!" and then students moved into the administration building calling out, "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."
At this point I can only conclude that the protestors are black students. Why? Because it sounds strangely familiar to Joe Biden's deplorable suggestion to blacks that Republicans only want to "put ya'll back in chains."
The students met with college president Jim Wagner who said: "After meeting with our students, I cannot dismiss their expression of feelings and concern as motivated only by political preference or over-sensitivity. Instead, the students with whom I spoke heard a message, not about political process or candidate choice, but instead about values regarding diversity and respect that clash with Emory's own."
There is a danger on college campuses to shut down free speech and especially the political process. The students called the Trump 2016 chalk writings as "hateful promotion of Donald Trump."
Hateful? What are they smoking? I see Obama 2012 bumper stickers still on cars and want to puke but never would call that a hateful act.
The students suggested in a memo that Trump is "the figurehead of hate, racism, xenophobia and sexism in America. In doing so, this group of students (Trump supporters) has attacked minority and marginalized communities at Emory, creating an environment in which many students no longer feel safe or welcome."
Let's get real. Trump is for ending illegal immigration and last time I checked illegal wasn't a race. He also has called for the temporary settlement of Muslims until a vetting process may be put in place to keep out those who might want to kill college students and their fellow citizens. After all, it's the extremists of the Muslim faith that are hell-bent on destroying Americans in terrorist attacks.
The facts be damned though. They conclude that anyone supporting Trump is "not a political expression; this is hate speech."
I hate to differ but the students are dead wrong. They need to study American history and government and get their heads out of twitter for a while.
You see, this is America. Did you forget? We elect people to office through a process. One doesn't have a right to shut down free speech by self-proclaiming the opposing view as hate speech. That doesn't fly and we're not buying this load of bull. If you don't want Trump as president, put your money or time into someone else's campaign.
I agree with Emory University English Professor Mark Bowerline who suggested the students to: "Get real. Why are you so thin-skinned here? Come on, this is free speech. This is supposed to be a college campus. College demands a thicker skin out of you. An open society means that you're going to encounter things that are going to upset you."
He said this "should be a moment of education rather than a moment of conciliation with the students and their demands."
Bowerline said when college presidents give in to minorities of students in "an indulgent way, that's pretty intoxicating ... and this is only going to create further protest."
I'm still remembering the University of Missouri student protest in January over alleged and often unsubstantiated examples of racism when a journalism professor, of all people, blocked a reporter's access to covering the event only to be later fired. Melissa Click, the fired professor later defended her actions as "inexperience with how public protests work." You've got to be kidding me! She was in charge of the journalism department and thought it was okay to block a reporter from accessing a protest? Our colleges are being led by misguided know-nothings.
Also on our college campuses is political correctness run amok in the form of pushing to remove names off of buildings - if they are linked to figures which are now suddenly deemed controversial. How many of us California kids learned about Father Junipero Serra founding the missions in California? Now all of a sudden the left says he abused Indians and needs to be stricken from history books. Talk about revisionism and censorship. It smacks of George Orwell.
Students selectively dismiss the misdeeds of some. They vilify Christopher Columbus, Father Serra and Thomas Jefferson. Earl Warren's name is attached to a hall at U.C. Berkeley but nobody is calling for the former governor and Supreme Court chief justice's name removed because of his instigation of Japanese-American internment during World War II. Cesar Chavez has his name all over California schools and roads and buildings yet he had his black marks. He used violence to prevent Mexican immigrants from entering the U.S. border, used intimidation tactics against "unloyal" members and courted Philippians President Ferdinand Marcos yet liberals look the other way. Thus Father Serra was a bad man (no doubt because he was a Christian and Christians are fair game today) and Chavez is a hero to many Latinos. And let's not forget that Leland Stanford (California governor from 1862 to 1863) exploited the Chinese in a frantic bid to complete the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s. His name remains attached to Stanford University. Let's not forget that FDR imprisoned many local Americans during WWII who just happened to be of Japanese descent but nobody is crucifying America's biggest socialist president.
Why are so many on the left - particularly women - willing to embrace Hillary Clinton when she vilified the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual predation? She made excuses for Bill and suggested it was only a "vast right-wing conspiracy" that was making up all of these stories. Shame on her, and anyone who purportedly believes in women's rights and supports her candidacy.
There's plenty of hypocrisy among our college presidents and students. But I have a word for them: Spare us your victimization crap. You don't win by shutting down free thought.
We all lose.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org