Excerpt From: Civitas Institute. Written By: Jim Tynen.
On March 2, a violent leftist mob at Middlebury College kept one of the nation’s most distinguished writers and researchers from speaking. Is that bad omen for freedom – or have campus radicals at last gone too far?
University of North Carolina Wilmington criminology Professor Mike Adams said Tuesday that college campuses may indeed be at a tipping point – but he was hopeful it was a good one, in that campus radicals may have overplayed their hand.
The Middlebury speaker was Charles Murray, author of “Coming Apart,” among other major works that examine our society. Left-wing activists shouted him down, and harassed him as he left; a professor assisting Murray was injured in the melee.
Is this a harbinger of the future? Murray recently wrote that, in the aftermath, he was pessimistic, and feared that “absent an adequate disciplinary response, I fear that the Middlebury episode could become an inflection point,” that is, the start of a downward spiral of increased campus violence and repression.
Interviewed before his talk at the Icon Lecture Series Tuesday night in Chapel Hill, Adams, a columnist and defender of free speech, noted the dangers of the Left’s assault on campus freedoms. But, Adams said, leftists may have gone too far for the comfort of their left-wing allies, especially those whose secure, well-paid jobs depend on universities functioning smoothly.
“Hopefully the Left is realizing they are creating a monster that is out of control,” he said. As he has pointed out in columns, “The chickens of diversity are coming home to roost.”
To look at just a couple of incidents, at Yale University, a mob of students screamed at two professors, who are married, over an email that suggested … wait for it … that any students who were offended by a Halloween costume just look away. The two professors later resigned.
Protestors caused such tumult at the University of Missouri that in 2015 the university’s president and chancellor resigned. The fallout: Last fall, enrollment was down 2,100 students.
That’s the kind of thing that catches the attention of college administrators. Though they are usually from the Left, Adams said, they want to protect their cushy jobs. “They better figure it out: This idea that emotions trump ideas is going to cause mass chaos on campuses.”
He added, “There is actually a chance now that they’ll look at it now, and say, uh oh, we’re having rioting and safety issues, now we’ve got to go undo some of this mess.”