Latest posts by Andrew Moran (see all)
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There is an epidemic occurring on college campuses all over the Western world: shutting down free speech, marginalizing or intimidating white people, and accusing anyone to the political right of Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as someone with Nazi tendencies. This, it seems, has become part and parcel of campus life on colleges in North America and Europe.
It is true that the First Amendment is being threatened at the post-secondary level. It is also correct that it is dangerous to hold conservative or libertarian viewpoints on a college campus in California or New York — unless you aver politically correct opinions. The only acceptable campus viewpoint that must be espoused is that President Donald Trump is a monster, there are twenty-three different genders and socialism is the only form of government to adopt – otherwise you will be ostracized from the academic community and verbally or even physically assaulted.
Unfortunately, this behavior is being perpetuated by none other than faculties.
Case in point is George Ciccariello-Maher, Associate Professor of Politics and Global Studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia. In December, Ciccariello-Maher tweeted that “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.”
An investigation quickly commenced, and it was concluded that his comments were deemed “protected speech.” He would not lose his job for calling for millions of people to die because of their skin color. Since the media reaction was fierce, Ciccariello-Maher attempted to defend his remarks by claiming that the massacring of whites during the Haitian Revolution “was a good thing.” He later said it was a satirical tweet:
For those who haven’t bothered to do their research, ‘white genocide’ is an idea invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from interracial relationships to multicultural policies (and most recently, against a tweet by State Farm Insurance). It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I’m glad to have mocked it.
A bizarre pivot for sure. Suffice to say college students will not be learning anything politically right-of-center in his classes.
That was the end of it, right? No. It turns out another investigation is being conducted.
According to documents obtained by InsideHigherEd, Drexel Provost Brian Blake sent an email to Ciccariello-Maher informing him of “a special committee of inquiry to investigate your conduct and provide findings and recommendations to me concerning your extremely damaging conduct.”
Why the renewed interest and investigation? It seems the professor’s comments are influencing the Drexel bottom line as the university loses donors and students:
[His behavior] has left me with no choice but to ensure that an appropriate review is conducted in order to deal with this serious distraction to the important academic mission of the university.
Numerous prospective students whom the university has admitted have written to the university stating that they will not attend. At least two potential significant donors to the university have withheld previously promised donations.
Because of his odious remarks about white genocide, the university is losing funding and potential students, and the school does not want this to happen. In other words, the free market is combating this growing trend of American colleges and universities declaring war against this type of incendiary behavior by college professors.
In 2015, charitable donations to colleges reached an all-time high of $40.3 billion, up 7.6% from the previous year, according to the annual Voluntary Support of Education survey by the Council for Aid to Education. This is a lucrative figure and colleges are constantly contacting alumni for donations.
This won’t last forever. The free market is already working its magic.
The New York Times reported last year that many graduates are beginning to showcase their discontent through their pocketbook:
A backlash from alumni is an unexpected aftershock of the campus disruptions of the last academic year. Although fund-raisers are still gauging the extent of the effect on philanthropy, some colleges — particularly small, elite liberal arts institutions — have reported a decline in donations, accompanied by a laundry list of complaints.
The grievances range from students being too engulfed in identity politics to students preventing conservative speakers from delivering speeches. Reportedly, alumni believe that if administrators are unable to address these protesters, rioters, and snowflakes, then they will simply make a statement with their checkbooks.
Considering the abhorrent behaviors and attitudes found on the modern college campus, why should a white conservative alumnus even consider being munificent? If their college is allowing their race to be vilified and conservative students compared to Nazis, why should they bother to stroke that check?
Here is a classic case in point.
The University of Missouri is one of the schools realizing a massive budget gap. Melissa Click, a communications professor at the University, became the face of censorship and entitlement on college campuses when she called for “muscle” to kick out student journalists during a protest. Soon after the university garnered widespread media attention for its race-based campus protests and caving into student demands, it lost approximately 1,500 students, causing an immense drop in its tuition income. Over the last twelve months, the university has been trying to tackle its $32 million budget shortfall.
Amherst College in Massachusetts is a private liberal arts college that has regularly been the scene of protests against free speech, the president’s temporary travel restriction, and ostensible racism. These demonstrations were championed by liberals everywhere, but Amherst is not immune to the mounting development. The college has witnessed its donations tumble by 6.5% in fiscal year 2016. Participation in its alumni fund dipped by 1.9% to 50.6%, the lowest participation rate in more than forty years.
Today’s college culture may appear to be hopeless, but eventually, the encouraged violence will cease.
Personnel won’t be swayed to adopt free speech and open and respectful discussion from a lecture by Tom Woods or Ben Shapiro. Colleges will only employ these ideas when they see their enrollment numbers plummet; their funding take a nose-dive and their annual revenues crater.
So, long as the suppression of speech and monolithic leftist worldview persists on college campuses, alumni will have to hold back on giving to their Alma Mater. That is a sure-fire way to get higher ed administrators to come to the table.