What Wellesley College Students Consider To Be Freedom Of Speech

A recent editorial in the Wellesley College student newspaper—Wellesley, as I’m sure you know, is the alma mater of Hillary Clinton—has justly set off ethics alarms across the political spectrum. That, at least, is good news: the hostility to free thought, expression and speech that I thought had decisively corrupted one side of that spectrum apparently is not as entrenched as I thought, or at least it is being diplomatically disguised.

The editorial with the Orwellian title of  “Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley ” (it would have been accurate if the headline read “We Think Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley Because Wellesley Hasn’t Taught Us What Free Speech Is”), contained several month’s worth of Ethics Alarms Unethical Quotes of the Week, such as

Many members of our community, including students, alumnae and faculty, have criticized the Wellesley community for becoming an environment where free speech is not allowed or is a violated right….However, we fundamentally disagree with that characterization, and we disagree with the idea that free speech is infringed upon at Wellesley. Rather, our Wellesley community will not stand for hate speech, and will call it out when possible.

Translation: We don’t oppose free speech. We just oppose speech we disagree with.

Wellesley students are generally correct in their attempts to differentiate what is viable discourse from what is just hate speech. Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech.

By this definition, the editorial itself is hate speech. This is the kind of rhetoric that Captain Kirk used to make evil computers blow their circuits on “Star Trek.”

The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.

Now we know they don’t teach American History at Wellesley as well as philosophy and logic.

We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way. It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control.  While it is expected that these lessons will be difficult and often personal, holding difficult conversations for the sake of educating is very different from shaming on the basis of ignorance.

Wait, wasn’t this endorsement of indoctrination written by Lenin or Stalin? Surely this section should be in quotes with attribution.

This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.

I’m sorry, I just ran screaming from my office and momentarily lost my train of thought.

Pointing to the worst sections of the editorial fail to convey its gobsmacking intellectual flaccidity, smug certitude and hostility to the open exchange of ideas. We know where this came from, too: the  education at Wellesley. This month, six Wellesley professors who comprise the college’s Commission on Race, Ethnicity, and Equity signed a letter maintaining that Wellesley should not allow challenges to the political and social views that the campus has decreed are the correct ones, arguing that speakers who are brought to campus to encourage debate may “stifle productive debate by enabling the bullying of disempowered groups.”

In other words, Wellesley has to destroy debate in order to save it. “There is no doubt that the speakers in question impose on the liberty of students, staff, and faculty,” the professors wrote in an e-mail to the campus community.

Defenders of the college’s honor argue that the editorial should not be seen as representative of the student body. That may be, but there does not appear to be any significant opposition to it on campus. Of course, this may be because the editorial seems to be calling for violence against dissenters.

Observations:

1.  The left-wing media doesn’t appear to think this story is newsworthy. On Google News, the following publications have reported that a  major liberal arts college’s paper  endorses campus censorship and “hostility” against speakers and students who have not been sufficiently indoctrinated: The Federalist, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, Townhall, and the Boston Globe, which is Wellesley’s local paper. That’s it. No New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, and the rest.

The reason is obvious: if you are going to boil a frog alive, you don’t tell him he is being boiled.

2. Let me be clearer still: the mainstream media doesn’t think it’s alarming or even news that college students reject free speech because most journalists embrace the same ideological goals, and are doing their best to accomplish those goals by manipulating information and public opinion.

3. Any parents who read that editorial and continue to pay over $63,000 per year to send their child to Wellesley are irresponsible fools. I would pull my son out of such a school in the blink of an eye. The editorial is signature significance for an ideologically extreme, warped, totalitarian anti-American campus culture, and no caring parent would allow his or her children to have their brains and values marinated there. Paying to have your children politically programmed with their minds closed rather than expanded is lunacy.

4. Of course, the typical family that would sent a child to Wellesley is likely to be like the pod-parents in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” placing the soul stealing and conformity-delivering alien pods in the beds of their sleeping kids. If you send a son or a daughter to Wellesley, Harvard, Yale, Berkeley or dozens of other “elite” institutions, you are paying for  their indoctrination in alien values.

5. It is also worth noting that the editorial is atrociously written, and the linked version was re-edited after it was mocked for its ineptness. For example, “We at The Wellesley News, are not interested in any type of tone policing” was originally published as “Tone policing is a practice that we at The Wellesley News are not interested in any type of.” $63,000!

 When the editorial sparked hostility on social media, the paper or the university quickly made the editorial unavailable on-line, substituting a mysterious page that implied that the reader’s browser or ISP was at fault. Then the editorial reappeared with the worst of the writing repaired, but the hostility to freedom of expression remaining.

So they apparently don’t teach you to write at Wellesley, but they do teach you to lie.

For the greater good, of course.

_______________________

Source: Boston Globe

23 Comments

Filed under Childhood and children, Citizenship, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Family, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Rights, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society

23 responses to “What Wellesley College Students Consider To Be Freedom Of Speech

  1. Wellesley is hardly cutting edge. For examples of what’s ahead of the curve in that growth industry simply meander over to the UW-Madison for the latest efforts that seek to boldly go where no (fill in gender preference or leave blank) has gone before, to engineer a more perfect union.

    https://students.wisc.edu/doso/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2016/11/Bias-Incident-Report-Spring-Summer-2016.pdf

    Wait a minute, “meander”? Might that imply sloth, laziness, cultural marginalization, or (gasp) racism, thus triggering the groundbreaking intervention of the “Bias Response Team (BRT)?” (cue “To The Batmobile” music)

    The mission statement of the BRT is NOT “to investigate, adjudicate, or to take the place of other University of Wisconsin processes or services; rather, the aim is to complement and work with campus entities to *connect* impacted parties and communities with appropriate support and resources.”

    Not too much of a stretch to envision an alternative interpretation: “to connive and scheme with historically aggrieved collectives to correct guilty parties and privileged communities with punitive support and disciplinary resources.”

    I’d say ”Happy Easter,” (flagged inappropriate; marginalizes-n-excludes Atheists, Druids, Muslims, Wiccans, Pagans, Pastafarians, Buddhists, Hindus, Satanists, Sikhs, Uncategorized, etc.) but I know better.

    They know where I live and I’m certain they don’t take this, or any other day, off.

    • joed68

      You could have instead made a reference to The Keister Bunny, which is both non-denominational and a beloved mascot of the LGBT crowd.

  2. Wayne

    Perhaps Wellesley should get together with other progressives universities and set up re-education centers for those students that don’t toe the party line. Nothing will be done about these Orwellian tactics until alumni get fed up and withdraw their financial support or send their kids to Texas A & M or some other university that actually encourages free exchange of ideas.

  3. Other Bill

    A very worthwhile discussion of what’s happened in the American academy during our lifetimes: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/446634/campus-free-speech-crisis

    In short, high school and college faculties are now dominated by Marxist soft science teachers. It’s a tragedy.

    • Inquiring Mind

      It is not a tragedy in the eyes of those who have deliberately engineered this. This is the desired outcome. They have raised a generation of Red Guards – people willing to shout down – or beat down – those who will not acquiesce to the “progressive” agenda.

      Furthermore, I think it is going to have to get worse before it gets better. If the rioting that forced the cancellation of the MILO speech back in February didn’t force action, I am not sure what will short of a conservative speaker suffering serious physical harm – and part of me fears that will not be enough.

      Just yesterday, there was another round of violence at Berkeley. Trump supporters – Ethics Heroes, in this case – went to demonstrate in support of the President, knowing full well the risk of having the 21st-century brownshirts come and pay a visit.

      But the real risk of this control of academia is this: To be a teacher at any level, you need the degree. To become a doctor, lawyer, or to be in any real white-collar job that many parents hope and dream their kids become requires passing through the college gate.

      Between the intolerance of the Left for different ideas (see how often conservatives groups are now being denied recognition by student governments), and the Star Chamber justice that has already intruded into disciplinary boards to combat the “sexual assault epidemic,” in the next decade or two, we will see the push to silence dissent get worse on college campuses. Because eventually, the “safe spaces” will cover the entire campus, and all hell will come down on anyone who shows the slightest sympathy to something the Left dislikes.

      This will also trickle down to high school. Eventually, we will see the college dreams of kids crushed over “microaggressions” or a disagreement – as the Left seeks to wipe out dissent.

    • Other Bill

      “[W]e want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion.”

      Where’s Dean Vernon Wormer when we need him?

  4. John Billingsley

    There are at least a few signs of backlash against shutting down all speech that goes against the narrative. The student group Open Campus Initiative at Harvard has stated they will be inviting Charles Murray and other controversial speakers to support freedom of expression. Will have to wait and see how that goes. Ironically, the individual who leads the group supporting the right of free speech in America is a Canadian.

  5. While it is expected that these lessons will be difficult and often personal, holding difficult conversations for the sake of educating is very different from shaming on the basis of ignorance.

    A re-education camp is good for you!

  6. Pennagain

    My bold.
    Established in 1901, by presumably literate grown-ups, the Wellesley News is the only campus newspaper of Wellesley College It’s here or nowhere, folks. The News, which is entirely student-run, Got that. If faculty had been involved, the writing sample at #5 would not have been its illiterate mode of expression is published weekly . . . .

    All letters . . . will be published on a first-come, first-serve basis on selected subjects taken, if necessary, from previous issues.
    Ads for on-campus organizations previously vetted to accord with our policies are free, but due to space constraints which we can fill with whatever we like, no guarantee is made of their publication.

    Editorials are the opinion of the News’ Editorial Board.This is “singular significance”: there is only one to the group. If unsigned, they represent the opinion of the majority of the staff. Thus the only saving grace of this egregious piece of segregation (in all its exclusionary horribleness) is if this were signed — because we wouldn’t then have to bemoan the idiocy of all 2,350 students.

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