Shocking at Vox: 'I'm a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me'

June 6th, 2015 7:39 AM

A top article trending on Vox, an exclusively online (and leftward leaning) news platform is entitled "I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me." According to a professor of a "mid-size state school" who preferred to remain anonymous to protect his job, "The student-teacher dynamic has been re-envisioned along a line that's simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher's formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best."

Of course for anyone paying a speck of attention to the free speech environments of American campuses, this is nothing new. In 2012, George Will penned an article in The Washington Post entitled "Colleges have free speech on the run." He described, "The right never to be annoyed, a new campus entitlement" and the "Legions of administrators, who now outnumber full-time faculty, are kept busy making students mind their manners, with good manners understood as conformity to liberal politics."

Meanwhile FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), whose president Greg Lukianoff describes himself as "a liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay rights, lifelong Democrat," has been trying to bring the lack of free speech on public and private college campuses to public attention since its founding in 1999.

But no matter. Now that college intellectual oppression is affecting not only the few conservative professors who dared to enter the polarized world of American academia but also liberal professors, some in the liberal media are prepared to listen.

The professor described the he fear he held that students would rate him poorly on evaluations or report him for insensitivity to the administration if he assigned readings that "affect the student's emotional state." He pointed to "a simplistic, unworkable, and ultimately stifling conception of social justice" that focuses on emotions, as the culprit for turning millennial students into fragile flowers.

According to the professor, this trend toward ever-increasing censorship "affects liberal, socially conscious teachers much more than conservative ones." It remains unclear how that logic pans out. However, he also believes these conservative professors will be liberal academia's savior from itself, as "there's nothing much to do other than sit on our hands and wait for the ascension of conservative political backlash."

PS: The Wall Street Journal had the story of students going after liberal prof Laura Kipnis for an essay on "growing sexual paranoia" on campuses.