Commentary by James Shott
College campuses, once a garden where divergent ideas flourished, are more and more becoming known for their ideological imbalance and even outright censorship of ideas, and a recent incident demonstrates just how weed infested that once diverse garden has become.
The Daily Caller online reported that conservative writer Ben Shapiro had been scheduled to speak on behalf of Young Americans for Freedom, a registered student organization at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). Following complaints by some students, the institution’s president, William Covino, tried to cancel the appearance, favoring an event with a broader set of topics, but the Young Americans group persisted, and the president backed down. The event was funded by the CSULA student government organization.
As the audience tried to enter the auditorium for the program last Thursday, liberal protesters had linked arms in a human chain to block entry, and video of the protesters shows a lot of pushing and jostling at the entrance, including the pushing and shoving of police officers, and epithets such as “racists” and “white supremacists” were reportedly shouted at those wanting to attend the event.
People eventually did enter the auditorium, but only by being escorted to a back door by police, and eventually that entrance also was blocked by protesters. During the speech, someone pulled a fire alarm, although Shapiro and the audience ignored it.
What topic would produce such a radical reaction? Was he to talk about doing away with student loans, or education grants, or argue against free tuition? No, nothing so inflammatory as that. What got the mob all up in arms was the idea that an institution of higher education would allow a speech titled, “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.” Apparently, diversity is only a problem when it involves ideas that some students don’t like.
Unsurprisingly, getting out of the auditorium afterward was as hard as getting in, as the diversity protesters also blocked the doors after the event ended. Shapiro and his audience had to wait to leave until police could clear demonstrators, allowing them safe exit.
This episode is both a symptom of the poison that has spread throughout the country, and particularly on campuses, a growing idea that anyone offended by anything outside of their narrow set of beliefs is entitled to some make-good effort when their delicate feelings are injured, but it also is a measuring stick showing how far down the road to ruin America has traveled.
Looking at why we are so far down that road leads to the conclusion that it is largely through deliberate efforts to subvert two of our most basic and most important societal functions: educating the younger generation and providing information to the people. These critical areas are largely keys to the heart and soul of America, as they are vehicles through which its ideals and traditions are communicated to the populace, and give people the information they need to discharge the duties of citizenship responsibly.
In America today the traditional family, that once was where children learned the basics of life and how to function in a complex society, has been heavily damaged through social liberalism, so that many or most children now receive their basic education and cultural footing not in the home, but in public schools. And public K-12 education and higher education have changed dramatically over recent decades. Today, the federal government has a great degree of influence over public education, replacing control and oversight by states and localities, and leftist indoctrination has crept into textbooks, curricula and faculty, with far too little resistance.
Thus, when kids graduate from high school and enter college, if they weren’t already indoctrinated with liberal drivel, they are heavily at risk of falling victim to it on campus. The criminal behavior of leftist students at CSULA, suffering under the false belief that what they think is more important than what others think, supports that idea.
And news journalists and the organizations they work for, too frequently manage the news to serve an ideological purpose, providing not the pure information the people need and depend upon, but a slanted version designed to strengthen a set of liberal ideals.
Some good news on this front comes from recent opinion polls. A Gallup poll showed that six in ten Americans have little or no confidence that the national media report the news fully, accurately and fairly, and a survey by the Pew Research Center showed that 65 percent believe that the news media have a negative effect on the nation.
Such insecure behavior has at its foundation the knowledge that if Americans are provided with the pure information they deserve, they would reject the left’s narrow and destructive ideas, which is why they must employ dishonesty and indoctrination.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
America is increasingly a nation of delicate personalities, self-made victims and government dependents. These trends serve the needs of those who prefer socialism to freedom, our liberal fellow citizens. To see where this leads, look at Venezuela.
Cross-posted from Observations