If there’s anything conservatives love more than picking on minorities, it’s pretending to be victims. This week made that phenomenally obvious, with the collective right-wing temper tantrum over the gay marriage ruling, the Confederate flag controversy, and Obamacare’s second victory at the SCOTUS.
Also showing us how this imaginary persecution works is Tal Fortgang, who, in a new op-ed, accused liberals of having “left-wing privilege” in college, sans irony. It’s really 38 reasons why he expects everything to be handed to him, but we’ll get to that in just a minute.
You can read the whole list here; I’m just going to hit the highlights that stand out to me.
“A stunning dearth of conservative academics”
Tal notes in his piece that the left fails to “decry inequality in all its manifestations” because it turns “a blind eye to the stunning dearth of conservative academics” and to “the de facto censorship of right-wing students on overwhelmingly left-wing campuses.”
It should be noted that Mr. Fortgang goes to Princeton, which has an arm of the Republican party right there on campus. It doesn’t seem to me like Republicans are being “censored” in any way; every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. they have a discussion event.
Even that notoriously liberal college, UC Berkeley, has a Republican Club. And if UC Berkeley can have a Republican Club that’s not censored — indeed, it prides itself as being Republican amidst the liberals on campus — then it’s likely there isn’t a college that goes out of its way to censor conservatives.
Unlike Liberty University, a staunchly conservative college, which does openly censor liberals and Democrats.
He goes on to note that while the “marginalizaiton” of “right-wing thinkers” doesn’t compare to what happened with Black Americans in decades past, “it might behoove left-wingers on college campuses to think about the various privileges from which they benefit simply by being members of the overwhelmingly dominant group in their academic communities.”
And then he dives into his list.
“38 reasons I’m not cut out for college”
So we move to the list:
1. I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my political persuasion most of the time.
This claim has already been addressed. If the University of California-Berkeley has a Republican club, then that means there are Republicans who attend the school.
I caution that this is not at all like the claim that because there are a handful of minorities at a college it’s enough; there aren’t institutional barriers holding most Republicans from getting into college like there are women and other minorities.
For instance, I doubt Princeton has a quota for Republicans like it’s been accused of having for Asians.
So where are the Republicans? Since most Republicans are poor, they probably don’t go to major schools like Princeton, and they go to local colleges, if they go to college at all. Republicans, after all, are gripped by a mighty strong anti-intellectual bend and tendency to be suspicious of college education — especially on the religious right.
2. I can spend my entire college career taking only classes with professors who think exactly as I do.
While it’s true that liberal professors are more than just a cliche, there’s a very good reason you don’t meet so many conservative professors.
This complaint runs right into the fact that modern conservatism is a philosophy that’s so riddled with anti-intellectualism we really shouldn’t be shocked professors want nothing to do with it. When your philosophy says that the education is evil, don’t be surprised when people believing it don’t chase a higher education degree — even though liberals have tried very hard to get conservative students to do just that.
7. I will likely never have to make the choice between writing what I believe to be true and writing what I think will get a good grade.
Sadly, this is sometimes just how college is; as a liberal, with other liberal professors, I’ve run into this problem. I have disagreed vehemently with some of my professors, but I still had to write what they wanted to get the grade. So I can assure Tal he’s not alone, and it’s not because he’s a conservative.
24. If I am religious, others will assume that my beliefs are a force for good and not an extension of an anachronistic and oppressive legacy of superstition.
This ties back into the anti-intellectualism of the religious right. If you associate with a religion that promotes oppression of people because of their sexual orientation or because their mental sex doesn’t line up with their biological sex, then yes, it is anachronistic and yes, it is oppressive.
Likewise, if your religion values the fetus over the woman, then yes, you are anachronistic for attempting to control sexuality.
This is like the person complaining about censure when they make a racist remark. The easiest way to not get called racist is to not be racist. Likewise, the easiest way to not be accused of having an anachronistic, oppressive religion is not to have one.
29. I can be confident that no one will dismiss the sources of my news and information as biased.
37. If I have to follow current events for class, I can be confident that the recommended sources of news will be slanted in my direction.
As Stephan Colbert once put it, reality has a liberal bias.
31. I can get “trigger warnings” appended to texts that challenge me or make me feel uncomfortable.
I don’t think there’s anything stopping him from doing this, either. It’s just a way to get a shot off at students who ask for a content head’s up.
34. I can monopolize terms like “justice” and claim that they only apply to what I am saying.
When your idea of justice includes discriminating against others, then it’s not a very good idea of justice.
There are others, too; you can read the entire list here. Just don’t be surprised; it’s whining from an entitled rich white man who’s had his views challenged and can’t defend them.
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