By Jonathon Van Maren
It is hard to exaggerate just how much universities have changed in the last few years. Campuses have always generally been liberal-leaning, if not overtly left-wing. My alma mater Simon Fraser University was no exception, and having done pro-life outreach on over dozen different campuses, I could tell you plenty of stories about pro-choice mobs, censorship, violence, and collusion between student unions and university administrations to shut down opposing view points. But things have escalated sharply in the last few years. Consider a couple of recent stories.
The New York Post is reporting that claims of homophobia have been outed as false:
A college student was busted for reporting anti-LGBT threats that police say she made against herself. Ohio University senior Anna Ayers was charged with three counts of “making false alarms,” Campus Reform reported.
Ayers, who is a member of the school’s student senate, told Ohio University Police that she had received multiple menacing messages including a death threat because she was “part of the LGBT community,” according to National Review. But during the course of their investigation, officers uncovered that Ayers had “placed the messages herself” prior to reporting the threats, the Post of Athens, Ohio, reported.
Ayers told fellow student senators that she received the threats at both her campus office and her residence, according to the student-run New Political. “I have no interest in hearing from any of you that you are sorry… or that you can’t believe it happened,” she said at the senate meeting, according to the New Political. “Instead, I want each of you to do everything you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Student Senate President Maddie Sloat told the New Political that the senate hopes Ayers “receives the help that she needs.” The charges are considered a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio, according to the Post. Ayers faces a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each count if convicted.
It seems that victimhood status on campus is now so prized for the platform it provides to the alleged victims that some are willing to fake hate crimes against themselves in order to obtain it. This comes as no surprise to pro-lifers, who have often been accused of harassment that was either entirely fictitious or self-inflicted.
The National Review is reporting that the University of Colorado has sent out some important advice to students:
Colorado State University has advised students to make their social media “more inclusive” by “avoiding gendered emojis,” in a social-media guide for students entitled “10 Ways to Make Social Media Channels More Inclusive.”
“Avoid gendered emojis when possible,” the guide states. “Instead use one of the variations of the yellow smiley faces or object emojis.”
Other items on the list include “Use the yellow emojis when addressing a diverse audience” and “Use inclusive pronouns (they/them/theirs, students, Rams, everyone).”
“Social media is a powerful communications tool,” the guide states. “So is language. Both shape our perception of the world in both subtle and obvious ways. As social media managers and marketers, that power comes with great responsibility.”
No wonder Jordan Peterson is urging people to avoid university. And no wonder recent polling showed that a huge majority of Americans from all walks of life are sick and tired of political correctness. From The Atlantic:
According to the report, 25 percent of Americans are traditional or devoted conservatives, and their views are far outside the American mainstream. Some 8 percent of Americans are progressive activists, and their views are even less typical. By contrast, the two-thirds of Americans who don’t belong to either extreme constitute an “exhausted majority.” Their members “share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.”
Most members of the “exhausted majority,” and then some, dislike political correctness. Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages.
Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness—and it turns out race isn’t, either.
Whites are ever so slightly less likely than average to believe that political correctness is a problem in the country: 79 percent of them share this sentiment. Instead, it is Asians (82 percent), Hispanics (87percent), and American Indians (88 percent) who are most likely to oppose political correctness.
I suspect that the toxic and infantile atmosphere on university campuses and the dangerous antics of progressive activists have a lot to do with how fed up Americans seem to be with political correctness and the tantrums that accompany it. And considering those numbers, it seems that Democrats may want to rethink their sharp pivot to the progressive Left if they want to defeat the smashmouth politics of Donald J. Trump.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.