Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by Jayson Veley
It goes without saying that the goal of America’s colleges and universities should be to educate upcoming generations and provide them with the tools and the skills that they need to succeed in life. Schools should be encouraging young people to think openly and independently, even if it means exposing them to opinions and viewpoints that are polar opposites of their own. This is what a healthy, productive education system would look like; sadly, this is far from how the education system in the United States operates.
Millennials attending college today live in a bubble. They believe that progressivism is the cure for all of America’s problems, that conservatives are a bunch of racists, bigots and homophobes, and nobody can tell them otherwise. They are perfectly fine living in their own fantasy world full of pampering and instant gratification, and have absolutely no desire to ever venture outside of their bubble to experience new ways of looking at the world. What’s worse is that professors and school administrators are helping them keep their bubbles intact, sheltering them in designated rooms they call “safe spaces” and giving out trigger warnings in class before something is said that could even be considered the least bit offensive.
The problem is that when these students graduate and bring their bubbles with them into adulthood, they are going to be forced to experience something that most people refer to as “real life.” There will be people that they don’t like. There will be opinions that they strongly disagree with. There will be no safe spaces to run to when a co-worker utters something offensive. The bubbles will pop, and suddenly, these millennials-turned-adults will be lost in the big, merciless world without the skills and the psychological strength to live day-to-day.
According to a new analysis of official speaking engagements, Trinity University, which is known for being traditionally more liberal than conservative, failed to host even a single conservative speaker during the previous academic year. Between September 2016 and August of 2017, a total of 21 political events were held, with eight of them being identified by Campus Reform as left-leaning and 13 featuring speakers who were politically moderate. Some of the speeches given by liberal speakers included “The Bad Feminist” delivered by Roxane Gay, “Invisible Immigrants: Spanish Immigrants in the United States” delivered by Dr. James Fernandez, and an event hosted by Chip Bartlett on “conspiracy theories, right-wing propaganda and scripted violence.”
When it comes to shielding students from conservative points of view, Hampshire College isn’t much better. Last week, a speech that was to be delivered by Fox News commentator and gun rights activist Antonia Okafor was cancelled by school administrators just two hours before the event was scheduled to begin. “Hampshire College sincerely apologizes to Antonia Okafor for cancelling her speech tonight that was to have been held on our campus,” a statement from the school read. “The college did not follow its own procedures in sufficiently reviewing the application before we approved it.” (Related: One college now offers anti-Trump resistance training to students.)
But while Hampshire College claims that it didn’t cancel the speech for political reasons, Antonia Okafor shared a different point of view on her Facebook page. “What really happened is this,” she wrote. “Someone failed to do a Google search on me and then started freaking out once professors, students and the media started calling in demanding that I don’t speak tonight.” (Related: America’s universities have become training camps for left wing extremism.)
How much longer will professors and school administrators keep students inside of their bubbles? Will they ever get a chance to hear different points of view and have their beliefs challenged, or will they always be shielded from the conservative right while on campus? Sadly, as of right now, the answer appears to be the latter.