ACADEMIC BROWNSHIRTISM

Do you remember when universities were considered free speech zones?  When they were havens where all opinions and all positions could be openly voiced, no matter how offbeat or even offensive they were?

That was not so long ago, was it? 

But now those days may be gone – replaced with severely limited speech imposed by student brownshirt wannabes whose pampered existence must be unsullied by any hint of what they decide is unworthy. 

And, if that were not scary enough, they have cowed the administrations of many universities into submission.

Does what I just wrote look like an extreme view of things?  Like a paranoid vision of some kind?  Well, tell you what:  read the absolutely jaw-dropping experiences of Laura Kipnis, a Professor at Northwestern University (that mainstream enough for you), and then talk to me.

In it, Ms. Kipnis details the holy inquisition that is being waged against her for writing an essay about sexual politics on campus – including having charges brought against her without any right to answer her accusers or have legal representation (and that\’s just the tip of the iceberg).   You will not believe your eyes.

Please use the link I\’ve provided and read every word of what Ms. Kipnis is going through.  But first read Professor Kipnis\’ description of the toll this sickness is taking – not just on her but on University faculty members in general:,

Most academics I know – this includes feminists, progressives, minorities, and those who identify as gay or queer – now live in fear of some classroom incident spiraling into professional disaster. After the essay appeared, I was deluged with emails from professors applauding what I\’d written because they were too frightened to say such things publicly themselves. My inbox became a clearinghouse for reports about student accusations and sensitivities, and the collective terror of sparking them, especially when it comes to the dreaded subject of trigger warnings, since pretty much anything might be a “trigger” to someone, given the new climate of emotional peril on campuses.

I learned that professors around the country now routinely avoid discussing subjects in classes that might raise hackles. A well-known sociologist wrote that he no longer lectures on abortion. Someone who\’d written a book about incest in her own family described being confronted in class by a student furious with her for discussing the book. A tenured professor on my campus wrote about lying awake at night worrying that some stray remark of hers might lead to student complaints, social-media campaigns, eventual job loss, and her being unable to support her child. I\’d thought she was exaggerating, but that was before I learned about the Title IX complaints against me.

I call this Academic Brownshirtism.  It is nothing less – and it is becoming increasingly common on university campuses around the country.

And one look at who is performing this Brownshirtism over what subjects, makes it clear that this emanates almost exclusively from the left.

Try to even begin to imagine what would be written about this ugly, sick, hate-filled (yes, hate-filled) intolerance of anyone who departs from the narrow limitations imposed by these mind-numbed children….if it were right wing brownshirtism.  How many news broadcasts, how many Sunday morning panel discussions, how many newspaper articles would there be?  

But since this is the left, not the right….you are lucky to find a thing about it anywhere.

I wait in vain for even one University head to have the guts – the moral courage – to stand up and say “Enough.  Free speech means free speech.  If you don\’t like what someone is saying on this campus, then debate that person.  But if you demand that that free speech must be prevented because you don\’t like what is being said or written, I suggest you leave this University and go somewhere that values only your opinions.  Because if you try to intimidate or force people here to suppress free speech, swift, significant action will be taken against you.”

When do you figure that will happen?  Ever?

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