(Oct. 31)  Considering a disturbing recent survey of college students showing negligible support for what First Amendment protections really mean, and after nearly a decade of campus foolishness along similar lines, some words to the unwise might be efficient.

So here’s some advice for high school seniors, college students, and workers in their early 20s.

If you want the First Amendment to protect only speech that doesn’t offend you, then you’ll find it’s not a protection at all but a cudgel for a power struggle — and one day, you’ll be on the losing side of the struggle, and you will not be allowed to speak. The rights to speak freely, express faith without fear of reprisal, publish anything not libelous or physically threatening, assemble (without trespassing), and petition one’s government are absolute requirements for a people to be free. Deny those rights to others, and you risk becoming little better than a slave yourself.

The goal of learning should not be “identity” but humanity. If you associate character traits with ethnicity, you are a bigot. This entails that there is no such thing as “whiteness” unless you are choosing a paint color somewhere between white and yellow. “Diversity” is a worthless shibboleth if it refers only to externalities such as race or “gender” but not opinion or expression — and if you force someone to publicly ascribe to “diversity,” you’ve just irretrievably contradicted yourself. “Inclusion” is nonsense if it excludes disfavored perspectives. Finally, if you want to segregate living arrangements or social structures, you are a segregationist and a friend of Jim Crow.

If you need someone in authority to provide “de-stressors” to help you cope with college exams, you have already flunked the test of maturity. In most jobs in the, ahem, “real world,” almost every day is the equivalent of a college exam. Suck it up, buttercup….. [The full column is at this link.]


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