Students No Longer Believe In Intellectual DiscussionThe administration fully signaled its leftist virtue credentials in advance, meaning "go for it" to the latent intellectual closure in the juvenile undeveloped brains and minds of the students. Students who know everything already are not really students, are they?
The student protesters have taken to heart an idea that has floated around in radical left circles for decades and that has recently gained traction on American campuses: the idea that some ideas are so illegitimate, it is right and proper to prevent their expression.
It is useful to see such views spelled out since they are, in effect, a no-trespassing sign erected on the border of simple-minded ignorance.
According to this conceit, permitting the expression of such pernicious ideas lends them credibility, and even mounting arguments against the validity of such ideas elevates them to a status they do not deserve. The sustainability movement began to use this tactic to bar the expression of dissent from its favored postulates, and the tactic has spread to others on the radical left.
A Middlebury student named Nic Valenti provided a near-perfect example of this twisted logic in a letter published in the Middlebury student newspaper, “Why I’m Declining AEI’s ‘Invitation to Argue.’” Murray’s ideas, in Valenti’s judgment, are “dangerous.” Debating those ideas suggests “false equivalence” with better ideas. Allowing those ideas to be expressed on campus is “grossly disrespectful,” “a waste of time,” and an insult to “young people with the perceptiveness of realizing that this whole situation is fucking bullshit and the integrity to be enraged by it.”
Valenti’s words are our best glimpse into the heads of college students who reject the principles of academic and intellectual freedom. It is useful to see such views spelled out since they are, in effect, a no-trespassing sign erected on the border of simple-minded ignorance. No ideas contrary to those approved by leftist groupthink are permitted beyond that border.
How Students Are Trying To Excuse Their Actions
Similar views are on display in a statement posted anonymously by some Middlebury students after the protest and assault. They manage to blame the attack on unnamed outsiders, as well as on Vice President Burger and security personnel who “without warning began pushing and pulling protesters out of the way.” They also explain:
A student reports that Professor Stanger’s hair was not intentionally pulled but was inadvertently caught in the chaos that Public Safety incited. It is irresponsible to imply that a protester aggressively and intentionally pulled her hair.The statement also fixes the blame for the whole affair on the Middlebury administration: These students “condemn the administration and Public Safety’s actions on Thursday night and since then — especially their attempts to discredit the protesters inside and outside McCullough.”
This actually sounds as if the protesters, having disgraced themselves in the public eye, now would like some kind of debate over what happened. Not really, of course. But they are eager to escape any responsibility for their actions.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Middlebury Analysis: When the Administration Hands the Reins to the Juveniles