In the 1960's, college students
started the Free Speech Movement
as a protest
against campus suppression
against radical left wing
politics. Herbert Marcuse
, a Marxist philosopher
, gained a wide following among campus radicals
in the 60's with an essay titled "Repressive Tolerance"
, in which he concluded that many supposedly "tolerant
" institutions were in fact highly selective
in their tolerance
, in a way that benefited those in power
. Many assumed that he was a proponent of free speech
. But, he then added that "true liberation
" (in a Marxist
sense) can only be achieved by "the withdrawl of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote capitalistic views"
. Marcuse was not bothered by his blatant set of double standards
, and his theories sat well with the college armchair Marxists
. But Marcuse's model of systematic oppression
has been realized with frightening detail in today's academic institutions
. The Free Speech Movement
of the 60's has evolved into the Speech Code Movement
of the 80's and 90's.
Many academic leftists today insist that political correctness is nothing more than a myth fabricated by opponents of "progress". Interestingly, those are the people who instituted modern academic speech codes, a willful assault on campus liberty. The goal of a speech code is obviously to suppress speech that one doesn't like. The goal of freedom is to permit tolerance in an environment full of opposing views. Colleges promote "friendly learning environments", and yet, conservative blacks are assailed as "Uncle Toms", all whites are denounced as "racists". Christians are ridiculed and their sacred symbols violated by anti-Christian zealots invoking the First Amendment, and yet, if the opposite were to happen the entire campus would pity the victims and severely punish the "insensitive bigots". Is this a friendly open environment? Or is it just the realization of Marcusean "tolerance"?
Academic dedication to diversity is nothing more than a systematic oppression of unpopular ideas. The assault on liberty is multifaceted, but the most disturbing aspect is the attack on individual identity, in the form of "group identities". Under this academic standard of group identity all whites, regardless of individual philosophies, are clumped into one "Eurocentric" culture. Colleges greet their freshmen not as individuals but as embodiments of ethnic identities, then the administrators scratch their heads and wonder why the students are segregating themselves along the designated racial lines. When universities speak of "diversity" and "multiculturalism", what they really mean is the separation of the student body into designated ethnic, sexual or political groups. Speech codes are then liberally applied to ensure that the "underrepresented" groups are protected from punch lines while "overrepresented" groups can be thrown out of school for criticizing the unbalanced enforcement of the First Amendment. True diversity must include intellectual diversity, something that speech codes specifically forbid.
The term racial diversity is also euphemistic, one only needs to look at the emergence of separatist racial residences at American universities. They were designed to promote racial harmony by providing a "safe and supportive environment" for minorities, and yet, they have become segregated bastions of left-wing racial politics with a Marcusean view of the First Amendment. How can the segregation of races promote tolerance? By cutting off racial interaction? By teaching radical left-wing racial politics such as the everpopular "all whites are racist, minorities by definition cannot be racist"?
Even tenured professors cannot escape the claws of political correctness. One reason that tenure exists is to protect academia from political pressure, and yet today, the retribution is internal, not external! Many professors have been suspended or fired from the jobs for publishing unpopular political opinions, the main reason for termination is "harassment". One can imagine the double standards of that particular charge. You cannot be fired for "insensitivity", so "disadvantaged" groups must be portrayed as mindless weaklings so that critical speech can be categorized as harassment.
When all stereotypes are dropped and all special privileges removed, free speech can be realized and true intellectual diversity can flourish. Political correctness, speech codes and endorsed segregation serve the cause of oppression and censorship and have no place in today's academies. Anyone who tells you otherwise is nothing but a Marcusean hypocrite.