The first tear gas canister ever thrown at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio landed ten feet in front of me on April 15, 1970. By the end of the night, 180 people had been arrested.
I was not among them. Like most of the crowd, I turned and ran. I was only a curious onlooker, not one of the committed Vietnam war protesters occupying the ROTC building.
But the worst consequences of Ohio campus riots wouldn’t come for another three weeks until May 4 at Kent State University, when four students were shot by the Ohio National Guard, called in to bring order to protests growing more violent at Ohio colleges each week.
Kent State was a wake-up call. Campus protests slowed to a trickle. Students did not want to die, parents said, “Enough!” and anyway, spring was in the air. By fall 1970, flyers displaying the upraised fist were few and far between.
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Students then, like now, were mostly comfortable, well-fed, often supported by parental bank accounts, and eager where possible to avoid stress.
But today there’s a difference. While there are still many sensible, responsible college kids, a growing percentage is tragically easy to manipulate, even to accept lunacy, and that presents huge issues.
Today’s irresponsible social media, vile extremism and flat-out ignorance in “higher” education create a dangerous Playdoh student who can be molded by race baiters, sexual anarchists, anti-capitalists and even worse– terrorists.
ISIS recruiters could come in behind the disturbances at the University of Missouri and other colleges and reap a great harvest, because even their student leaders think the real problem is “hate speech” which makes them feel “unsafe.” Their boiling points are low, because their own distress over imaginary “microaggressions” is high.
Welcome to our sorority house, local imam and your friends from Syria. Tell us what to think.
Busy verbally and politically trashing the heritage of parents, grandparents, military heroes and western civilization in general, their hyper-sensitive ears can only tolerate “diversity,” which is nothing of the kind but actually a rigid template of destructive agendas: feminism, “LGBTQ” behaviors, non-Judeo-Christian faiths, and racialism.
And some agendas trump others. Sexual identity usually supersedes race. If more visibility for people of color was the actual goal, Robert Oscar Lopez of California State University at Northridge would not be in danger of losing his faculty position. His sin? Revealing he was a child reared by two lesbians who now objects to the deliberately motherless or fatherless households of same sex parenting.
But what rises above (or sinks below) even “LGBTQ” preeminence is the common bond uniting the left with radical Islam: hatred of Christianity. It explains the relative silence about the death penalty homosexuality carries in many Muslim countries.
It’s apparently easy to rattle Mizzou student body vice president Brenda Smith-Lezama, who told MSNBC,
“I personally am tired of hearing that First Amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment for myself and other students here.”
No, the real problem is immense cluelessness among the self-anointed young elite. When you limit exposure to different viewpoints, you are ripe for propaganda– or reveal that you are already its slave.
An American campus is quickly becoming the worst possible place to send your son or daughter if you expect the product to resemble a rational, humane young adult.
Or an imaginative one. What innovations and inventions will we get from this crowd? Only creative ways to suppress the voices and liberty of those whose ideas they think they despise. Mean, petty tech wonks who shut down your conservative blog, for instance.
At least previous revolutionaries were willing to work for their causes. Now, the demands are free tuition, a rich minimum wage and cancellation of student debt.
No one doubts that college is over-priced. How about targeting the real culprits: union demands that drive up wages and benefits; well-paid professors of unending “research” who don’t want to teach; government regulations; and bloated administrations to manage all this.
Is it time to actively discourage promising high schoolers from attending college?
The poisonous recipe for student protests over injustice, both real and imagined, was crafted in the cauldrons of 1960s extremists. Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and other radical academics were young revolutionaries then.
Ayers was a son of privilege, his father a wealthy Chicago executive. Dohrn described herself as a “revolutionary communist.” Unlike some of their peers who grew up, Ayers and Dohrn did not. Why mature when you have access to American’s top revolutionary, Barack Obama?
Now, they and their fellow travelers are equipping the current generation and their teachers with toxic pro-Islam, anti-Christian, anti-American drivel that passes for learning.
And sexual anarchy rears its ugly but predictable head again when we learn that Bill Ayers, just-retired education faculty member at the University of Illinois- Chicago, gave a glowing endorsement to a book for teachers with a forward by Kevin Jennings: Queering Elementary Education.
Many heartbroken parents have seen the bitter fruits of a child’s sexual rebellion combined with an ungrateful heart. Intellectual anarchy follows right behind. Good-bye, rational thought; hello, barbarism.
Most of today’s students can’t tell you what the First Amendment says, but now believe it’s a “license to discriminate,” the favorite new term of “LGBTQ” revolutionaries who walk in lock step with hard-core feminists, Marxists, anti-Semites and jihad sympathizers.
Conservatives and Christians need to be silenced, they believe. So the new tactic is to label Christian views “discrimination.” This amorphous term is useful for anything the left doesn’t like.
This can only end badly. When we see the carnage in Paris and look at the mob rule taking over a Midwestern American campus, surely we can see that terrorist attacks loom in our nation’s future.
When are we going to hold colleges accountable for their lack of actual diversity, their aversion to free speech and even more foundationally, their deliberate suppression of the truth?
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.