Does anybody care except the occasional blog? More specifically, has any Presidential candidate condemned these incidents?
Principal Lena Van Haren decided to withhold the results of the school’s Oct. 9 student council election for more than a week, because she felt the results weren’t diverse enough. She said that the school community needed to figure out how to have a more representative government. There were no Latino or black candidates chosen for the top four spots.“This is complex, but as a parent and a principal, I truly believe it behooves us to be thoughtful about our next steps here so that we can have a diverse student council that is truly representative of all voices at Everett,” she told parents in an e-mail Thursday.
They reacted furiously, indignantly and correctly, accusing her of tampering with a fair and free election. Her response was unethical, dishonest, rationalized, and idiotic.
“We paused to have a conversation. [You withheld the results.] I never, ever said we wouldn’t share the results or they weren’t good enough. [If they were good enough, why the need for a “conversation”?] This is middle school. It’s not a presidential election. [ It was supposedly an election for the student leadership of the school, and thus as close to a Presidential election as a middle school gets. What’s your point, that its OK to manipulate elections for lesser offices?] It was not about hurting democracy or putting diversity over democracy. [ Funny, it sure looked like that’s exactly what it was about.]
Then she said that she wanted to wait until there was a plan created with student input to increase diversity among student leaders, perhaps by adding positions.
The students apparently paid no attention to race and ethnicity in their voting. That’s the objective, isn’t it? The principal want to perpetuate group identification and divisions, even if the students have educated themselves to understand that neither should matter. Adding positions to make it easier to have token “diversity” makes a sham out of any election. What other brilliant solutions does this principal have? Special representatives of every race and ethnic group? Quotas? Giving minority groups bonus votes? Forcing minorities to run for the council? Forcing whites not to?
Schools have elections to teach them about democracy. This principal is teaching them that democracy and the will of voters must meet progressive agendas, or it is “wrong.” She’s also teaching them to lie. Withholding results sent a message that the students had done something wrong by not considering race and ethnicity as qualifications for office that should take precedence over skill and demonstrated ability. Her denials were obvious and made no sense.
This how the extreme leftist educational establishment indoctrinates students to progressively weaken our democracy. Responsible parents should not accept [Correction note: The “not” was inadvertently omitted in the initial post.]such transparently dishonest excuses for it. If this could happen, the entire school and school system needs to be overhauled.
Wesleyan University’s students decided to take revenge on its twice-weekly student-run newspaper The Argus for daring to critique the racist, anti-police group Black Lives Matter (recently endorsed by the Democratic National Committee) in a column last month.
Many students at the prestigious college feel the free speech is only valuable if it advances their far left ideology, so they circulated a petition asking the Wesleyan Student Assembly to remove The Argus’s funding until it understood that it should only print The Truth—presumably that Mike Brown had his hands up, that white police are out to kill black men and that the African American community shares no responsibility for its problems. The specific demands included mandatory diversity training for Argus staff, work-study positions to increase minority employment at The Argus, and a dedicated space in the paper for minority pundits.
Some 170 members of the Wesleyan community signed the petition. That’s not a very large percentage, but it was enough for WSA member Alexander Garcia to introduce a resolution to cut The Argus’s print budget from $30,000 to $13,000 in order to pay for work-study positions at minority campus publications that print less frequently. The resolution was approved last week by a vote of 27-0.
Garcia, an aspiring progressive weasel based on this episode, characterized the funding cut as a measure to increasing diversity and, hilariously, environmental sustainability. His proposal says that the printing run of The Argus will “reduce paper waste.”
The petitioners also employed this cynical deceit, vowing to gather copies of The Argus and “recycle” them—that is, destroy them so no one can read the Argus’s mind-poison.
Even progressives—some of them—admitted that this was the equivalent of censorship. Wrote the Daily Beast…
It remains the case that Wesleyan is an overwhelmingly liberal campus where actual diversity would require a dilution of liberal voices, not a campaign to give them special attention on the front page. The Argus’s decision to allow a conservative perspective to appear in the paper arguably demonstrated a stronger commitment to diversity than the WSA has managed.
I don’t want to hear another sophist make the excuse that as a private institution, Wesleyan can’t be guilty of violating the Right of Free Speech. It’s a college, and a college, private or public, is obligated to teach its students values. Respecting dissent and free expression is a crucial value in this nation, and punishing unpopular views must be condemned as threatening democracy, society and freedom itself.
Wesleyan President Michael Roth weighed in with a column in the Hartford Courent,with a disgusting set of rationalizations and institutional spin, saying that “contrary to what has been reported in the press, the student newspaper has not been defunded.” Understand now why this happened at Wesleyan? No, the paper hasn’t been “de-funded,” it’s just been punished for publishing a conservative opinion—though why opposing a racist organization is considered “conservative,” I’ll never understand–and its student council has unanimously voted to cut (but not ‘defund’!) its budget for a manifestly fake reason. Then Roth teaches his students how to rationalize:
“Commentators, perhaps weary of their impotence in the face of the perversion of free expression in politics by means of wealth (1), have weighed in on this so-called threat (2) to free speech on college campuses. “What’s the matter with kids today,” these self-righteous critics ask, “don’t they realize that America depends on freedom of expression?” While economic freedom and political participation are evaporating into the new normal of radical inequality (3), while legislators call for arming college students to make them safer (4), puffed-up pundits turn their negative attention to what they see as dangerous calls to make campuses safer places for students vulnerable to discrimination (5). But are these calls really where the biggest threat to free expression lies? (6) I fear that those who seize upon this so-called danger will succeed in diverting attention from far more dangerous threats.”
What an unapologetic progressive hack!
Regarding the footnotes above…
(1) Another Citizen’s United complaint, with bumper sticker facts. Censoring a student paper by threatening to take away its funding is exactly what the anti-Citizens United mob wants to do despite the First Amendment; constrain political speech. Is there any doubt that this guy supported the defunding threat?
(2) So called threat! Right–where’s the threat in punishing newspapers for unpopular opinions? After all, it’s for the Greater Good!
(3) Now we have the income inequality pitch. What’s radical inequality? I guess it justifies radical income redistribution–you know, socialism. Of course it also justifies censorship. A small price to pay…
(4) A gun control call! Let’s see what other irrelevant progressive agenda items Ross can link to this episode…
(5) Censorship makes students safe….like trigger warnings and speech codes [ “The university’s speech codes directly contradict these statements by placing substantial restrictions on students’ expressive rights”—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education]
(6) Rationalization #22, “It’s not the worst thing.” Translation: “How dare these conservatives get upset about slapping down a non-conforming newspaper—threatening free speech is just a “so-called” danger—when have to put up with their atrocities like equal treatment under the law, the right to bear arms, law enforcement, and democracy?”
I could make an argument that the middle-school and high school proto-totalitarians do less damage than radical progressive activists masquerading as educators at the college level, like Wesleyan’s Michael Ross. After all, his students arrive at a leftist school like his pre-indoctrinated and with closed minds; all he has to do is spin and cover for them, and let them change the world. If he and his faculty were competent and ethical, he’d understand that his duty is to open those prematurely biased minds, not to allow them to censor arguments so they stay shut.