Why aren’t university leaders leading? They are allowing students to push insane, bizarre, politically correct ideas on everyone in their universities (and colleges).
To be sure, university leaders must be careful not to dismiss as political correctness (PC), valid responses by particular groups to subliminal, unconscious, biased behaviors. Racism and sexism are pervasive in society, and sometimes folks aren’t conscious of the hurt their words and actions cause others. Nevertheless, leaders must not let PC drive their decisions.
It’s important for students to express themselves on college campuses. College and university leaders should listen to students and where feasible, adjust policies. Especially policies that ensure students operate in a safe—physical and emotional—environment that’s conducive to learning. However, I repeat, leaders must resist asinine PC demands from students, while the college works to stomp out discrimination.
University leaders must draw the line against antisemitism, bigotry, and all forms of discrimination. They must recognize majority rights, minority rights, professors’ rights, and individual rights. But, they should not permit inane acts just to appease vocal groups.
University Leaders Approve Ridiculous PC Ideas
The National Review reported these thirteen Most Ridiculously PC Moments on College Campuses in 2015. Colleges have wasted significant time talking about them! Shouldn’t we focus on educating students and dealing with causes of real problems? Maybe this His Majesty decision might cause university leaders to reflect on their genderless pronouns policies. Choosing the His Majesty pronoun might show the actual intent of proponents—they wish to allow only their approved pronouns.
Canadian universities have their craziness, too. University of Ottawa shuttered a free weekly yoga class taught by a white person on its campus because yoga originated in India, which was oppressed and colonized by the West. Go figure!
Segregated Housing Isn’t The Answer
Nevertheless, I am more concerned about segregated housing at California State University. This so-called solution creates a wedge and is not a step to solving the identified problem. To be sure, there is racism, but this isn’t the way to tackle it. Segregated housing abdicates the university’s leadership role to find a real solution. It’s the easy way out. The university must ensure it understands and can empathize with issues raised by black students. Later, it has to create conditions for students to come together to learn about one another. Sadly, separated housing pulls groups apart and cements existing biases. No doubt, one group thinks this is the answer. However, it is the university leaders who should steer that group away from this backward segregation idea.
It’s not easy to fix the racism issue. The solution will take time, maybe a generation. Even so, we must not give up, but keep working at it, and not take regressive actions. Each decision should lead us closer to a real, lasting solution. Decisions should not push groups apart and entrench stereotypical beliefs.
California State University ought to provide information sessions for all students to help them understand the subtle, subliminal, derogatory, negative racial slights and insults black people experience daily. As well, it should provide similar sessions to help different groups understand subtle negative assumptions made about one another. The university needs to keep working with leaders of various groups to find realistic, practical solutions to the real issues. It must keep at it, and stay away from what seems to be easy solutions—like separate housing.
University Leaders Must Start To Lead
How can we inject sanity to university and college leaders? With much difficulty because the liberal press feeds on ourageous PC decisions. The liberal press and radicals will criticize, ostracize, call bigot, racist, or some similar name, anyone who takes a stand against PC. No doubt that’s why many leaders prefer to take the low road.
Still, at least one university is pushing back. University of Chicago told the class of 2020 not to expect trigger warnings and safe spaces:
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…
We need more leaders to come forward with similar actions while having zero tolerance for all forms of discrimination—overt and covert.
Universities must ensure all decisions fit the golden rule. And they must never allow discrimination against anyone or any group for any reason. However, they must not let pressure from groups lead them to politically correct, stupid, backward decisions.
Each group on university campuses has its agenda. Each wants its way and is intolerant of others. Ironically, the issue for each group is greater inclusiveness. But, if you are conservative and Christian, your views will be rejected. Even when you are willing to respect, but unwilling to accept, values of different groups, they will label you racist and intolerant. As well, they will tell you that you have some phobia.
University Leaders Need To Take A Time Out
College and university leaders should take a time-out to review the state of PC on their campuses. Meanwhile, let us stop making assumptions about one another. As well, let’s stop stereotyping individuals, but try to learn about them and our genuine differences. Then, we might understand that ignorance often breeds fear. In turn, fear leads to bias, and bias leads to irrational actions against others we don’t know.
Despite our talk, most of us know intuitively that every white person isn’t racist. Neither is every black person a potential criminal; nor is every police intent on killing black people or anyone. So, let’s treat each with dignity. God made everybody in His image; every life is precious to Jesus. That’s why He died for all of us.
The Bible tells us that no one is good, except Jesus, our Messiah. We all make mistakes. Besides, we are all sinners with the potential to be mean, insensitive, and to do evil. That’s why we need Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
I pray each of us will ponder these words from G. K. Chesterton: “The chief object of education is not to learn things; nay, the chief object of education is to unlearn things.”
© 2016 Michel A Bell