A new report says that right-wing academics are being silenced by the thought police. Inevitably they’re talking about that silencing on the front pages of right-wing newspapers.
There is an experiment of sorts taking place in American colleges. Or, more accurately, hundreds of experiments at different campuses, directed at changing the consciousness of this entire generation of university students. The goal is to eliminate prejudice, not just of the petty sort that shows up on sophomore dorm walls, but the grand prejudice that has ruled American universities since their founding: that the intellectual tradition of Western Europe occupies the central place in the history of civilization. In this context it would not be enough for a student to refrain from insulting homosexuals or other minorities. He or she would be expected to “affirm” their presence on campus and to study their literature and culture alongside that of Plato, Shakespeare and Locke. This agenda is broadly shared by most organizations of minority students, feminists and gays. It is also the program of a generation of campus radicals who grew up in the ’60s and are now achieving positions of academic influence. If they no longer talk of taking to the streets, it is because they now are gaining access to the conventional weapons of campus politics: social pressure, academic perks (including tenure) and — when they have the administration on their side — outright coercion.
Surprise! The Newsweek article is 30 years old. It’s from December 1990.
As media researcher Becca Lewis notes on Twitter, “it’s really incredible how identical the talking points are, thirty years later.”