Chris Sweeney of Boston Magazine has written an interesting piece about politics in higher education. He begins with a story many conservative students will find familiar.
Here’s an excerpt:
How Liberal Professors Are Ruining College
The freshman had his hesitations. “I am somewhat ‘in the closet,’” he emailed me from the safety of his dorm room. It was near midnight on a Thursday in late October, and the young man was still adjusting to life at Brandeis University. While he was open to the idea of doing an interview, he worried about the consequences of revealing his true self. “I fear that many of my classmates would jump to conclusions about me,” he wrote, “should they all know I am a conservative.”
To be clear: This student, whom I’ll call Ben, is not an alt-right provocateur railing against multiculturalism or a bombastic neocon. He is a skinny, stressed-out, 19-year-old Jewish kid from New Jersey who bounces his leg when he talks and prefers the Wall Street Journal to Breitbart. As with so many college students, he’s wrestling with his political identity and trying to figure out where he stands on some of the biggest issues of today, from the humanitarian crisis in Syria to police violence in America. Exploring his conservative viewpoints, though, is proving difficult to do on campus: There’s the econ professor who cracks jokes about Republicans during lectures, Ben says, not to mention the orientation event during which the speaker understandably talked passionately about the importance of Black Lives Matter, but glossed over the social movement’s assertion that Israel is an apartheid state that engages in genocide—a particularly thorny issue at a school where the undergraduate population is, according to Hillel, 47 percent Jewish.
All of this makes Ben feel like an outsider. The way he sees it, coming out politically a step to the right is the fastest route to social isolation on campus and the surest way to invite ridicule from his professors. So he bites his tongue in class and retreats to his dorm room to read and listen to conservative commentary alone. “I think it’s a shame,” he tells me. “A lot of people have negative preconceived notions about conservatives…we’re intolerant, racist, homophobic.”
Read the whole thing.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.