This atmosphere is intellectually stifling. “Every professor’s affected by the current climate, unless they’re oblivious,” Kipnis told me via e-mail. “I got many dozens of emails from professors (and administrators and deans and one ex college president) describing how fearful they are of speaking honestly or dissenting on any of these issues.
Personally, liberal students scare the shit out of me... I would not get fired for pissing off a Republican, so long as I did so respectfully, and so long as it happened in the course of legitimate classroom instruction.
The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slip—not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imagery—and that’s it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and there’s a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance.
Seattle University has apparently caved to the demands of student activists, putting a besieged dean on administrative leave after protestors claimed the liberal-arts curriculum focused too much on classical Western history and philosophy... A spokesperson for the student protestors told the Seattle Times the decision was “a win for our organizational efforts.” -Jillian Kay Melchior
Even tenured professors should fear backlash from social justice warriors for holding the "wrong" opinions. Rajshree Agarwal wrote in the Washington Post about how, when she was an assistant professor, she would challenge anyone if she thought they were wrong.
But now, even though she has tenure, the climate on college campuses is so volatile that she is afraid to speak up, lest she find herself on the wrong end of a social justice mob. -Ashe Schow
This is a matter of real, palpable fear. Saying anything that goes against liberal orthodoxy is now grounds for a firin’. Even if you make a reasonable and respectful case, if you so much as cause your liberal students a second of complication or doubt you face the risk of demonstrations, public call-outs, and severe professional consequences.
Liberal, Violence, Fear, Education, Protest, Academia, Metaphor
The University of California, Berkeley has constructed an emergency escape door for its embattled chancellor in case of potential security threats, such as student protests. The Daily Californian initially reported that the school had completed work on a $9,000 emergency exit in the office of Chancellor Nicholas Dirks over the weekend, dubbing it an “escape hatch” and asserting that construction of the door was requested about a year ago by Dirks’ staff in response to a student protest that obtrusively made its way through his office in April 2015.
The Attack Of The Crybullies
The campaign of hurt feelings over basic constitutional rights rocks on across the country, most recently at Amherst College where protesters want administrators to "apologize for signs that lament the death of free speech."
Jobs are really, really, really, really hard to get. And since no reasonable person wants to put their livelihood in danger, we reasonably do not take any risks vis-a-vis momentarily upsetting liberal students. And so we leave upsetting truths unspoken, uncomfortable texts unread.