The coming dark age: Graduate students at Kansas University are demanding the firing of a professor for trying to talk to them reasonably about race issues and saying things they didn’t agree with.
The article describes in detail the circumstances that caused the students, which in a sane world would have been considered actions of a decent and thoughtful professor trying to inspire a thoughtful discussion about issues of our time. The students, which the article’s names and correctly dubs “little fascists”, instead turn around and smear the professor to order to get her fired.
However, the worst aspect of this story is something noted by another professor in an email to the author of the article:
As a fellow communication professor on the tenure track, what’s happening at KU [Kansas University] chills me about the future of my profession. As an evangelical with “crunchy con” political leanings, I’ve always had to be mindful of what supervisors or colleagues might do should I make me views too strongly known (though thankfully not at my current institution, in which I feel very welcomed!). But my concern increasingly is not with the higher-ups, but with the possibility of unintentionally saying (or failing to display proper outrage at) something that the wrong student deems triggering, insensitive, discriminatory, or “unsafe.”
What is particularly disheartening is that the students in this scenario are not just run-of-the-mill undergrads looking for a cause of the week. They are grad students in one of the top programs in my discipline. Some of them are going to be newly-minted professors within the next six years or less. I agree with Jonathan Haidt that something has shifted in the last two or three years in terms of the grievance culture among today’s students, and we are only just beginning to see the consequences in places like Mizzou, Yale, and now, KU. Currently, much of the ire is being directed by students against their professors, but what happens when these students *become* the professors?
A new dark age will certainly come if we allow these thugs to gain power over others. Every student who is named here should themselves be expelled from the university. Not only do they not have the slightest idea what a university education is supposed to teach them, allowing them to gain a degree with allow them to impose their ignorance and fascist beliefs onto others.
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