Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Trigger warnings

Conservatives are praising Chicago U for its opposition to safe spaces and trigger warnings:

Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. This is captured in the University’s faculty report on freedom of expression. Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort. Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own. Fostering the free exchange of ideas reinforces a related University priority — building a campus that welcomes people of all backgrounds. Diversity of opinion and background is a fundamental strength of our community. The members of our community must have the freedom to espouse and explore a wide range of ideas.

In one sense it's nice to see Chicago U stare down the SJW lynch mob and not blink. SJWs only have power because people empower them. They only have power over others because others say uncle to their insatiable, despotic demands.

But at another level I think they perform a useful service. Cliches about academic freedom, exposing incoming students to challenging ideas, &c., are typically code language for a one-sided transaction in which professors indoctrinate conservative students in liberal ideology. It's not about a free exchange of ideas or vigorous debate. It's only about challenging students who have conservative values. About deprogramming students who come from conservative families.

The delicious irony of SJW death squads patrolling college campuses in the degree to which they are turning on the liberal establishment. Liberal academics created SJWs. They brainwashed students into believing politically correct claptrap. They made a Frankenstein monster that turned on its creator. In that regard, it's good to see liberal professors and college administrators on the receiving end of political correctness. The Chicago U statement is really about protecting the liberal establishment from the consequences of its own politically correct propaganda. Liberals are used to making others pay the price for their social agenda. It's a salutary turn of events when liberals are held to the same standards. 

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