Baby Boom Censors


"Now that [baby boomers are] in charge of the university, the rules have changed. As students, they were members of free-speech movements; now that they've earned tenure, they have become advocates of speech codes. Radicals when they were on the bottom, they've become censors when they're on top. And they see no discrepancy in their actions."

That's the University of Massachusetts' Daphne Patai writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the response to Web sites that invite students to talk about politicized classrooms. Well worth reading the whole thing…

NEXT: Free Delaware

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  1. Of course they see no discrepancy: there is no discrepancy. “Freedom,” in the minds of ’60s radical leaders always meant, “freedom to do it my way.” It was never cool to disagree with the “free speech” of the vanguard, and hippie culture subtly, but powerfully, enforced strict conformity upon its members.

    The _true_ hippie felt no great urge to impose his views on others, and thus failed to rise to the top of the great hippie hierarchy. Eventually he graduated and got a real job, where he daydreams about his groovy days back in college…

  2. The rules only appear to have changed if you define the rules as “free speech.” If you define the rules as “I’m all that matters” then the rules remain pretty consistant.

    The Boomers are living up (down?) to the predictions Straus and Howe made in their book “Generations.”

  3. Goat, I think you’re being a little harsh toward us boomers. Yeah, there’s a significant number who have taken over academia and enforce their morality (while at the same time telling the rest of us not to push ours) with speech codes, but on the whole, most of us go to jobs and raise our kids and live our lives pretty much the way our parents did and pretty much the way the next generation will…..

  4. Reason readers would do well to check out Alan Kors & Charles Silvergates “The Shadow University”. It chronicles the rise of so-called “political correctness” on campus, and strips it naked so we can see exactly what the trend is comprised of.

    Not surprisingly, Kors & Silvergate trace the roots back to Frankfurt School philosopher Herbert Marcuse, who was all the rage among 60s radicals. The fundamental tenet of Marcusian philosophy is that the hegemony of dominant culture is all wrong, and only by championing the “oppressed” can we build a free society. “Free speech”, therefore, requires the silencing of society’s majority, and the propagation of “disenfranchised” voices — racial, sexual and political minorities, criminals, the insane. As long as it ain’t mainstream, it’s holy to the Marcusians.

    This explains a lot about the so-called multicultural movement, and that touchstone of college admissions, “diversity”. It also explains why it’s considered a hate crime on some campuses to voice opposition to the black jewish transgendered student union’s position on animal experimentation — while at the same time conservative leaning campus newspapers are burned without comment, and jews are beaten up by pro palestinian protestors. Nothing short of the inversion of the values we hold dear is the goal.

  5. I would have thought the incidents on to be exaggerated if not for having had a worse experience in a Sociology 101 class. The scathing evaluations by students of his Marxist, conflict-theory, “whites are all inherently racist,” “guns cause violence,” “CEOs are greedy”, “capitalism causes poverty by creating a miserable substratum of unemployable people” teachings have (I’ve heard) only redoubled his efforts to beat his views into his students. As the only black professor in the department, he couldn’t think of stepping down, he informed us, because “White teachers are too lazy to diversify themselves.” (Direct quote, like all others in the paragraph.)

    Worse, I don’t know of anyone who quite had the guts to put their names on the evaluations, thanks to the college-wide Bias Report, a series of posters which announce “bias-related activity” all over campus. Latest report? A student overheard another make a “homophobic remark” in a private conversation and “felt uncomfortable.”

    And yet, my parents don’t understand why I want to transfer somewhere else …

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