I am the father of a college-aged son. Now in his sophomore year of college, my son has seen plenty of left-leaning nonsense from his professors. He even dropped a U.S. history class because it was more about social justice jihadism than actual American history. He’s not overly political, but it was way too much for him.
And yet, this isn’t one of the worst campuses for this sort of thing. A lot of universities are far, far worse.
With professors espousing their leftist ideology as if it were an unassailable position, a lot of students are concerned to speak out for many subjects, such as gun rights.
College campuses are prime targets for mass shooters, especially after Virginia Tech, and yet many faculty and administrators want to hide behind gun free zone signs, as if they’re some kind of talisman that protects. For students, campaigning for gun rights might well make a great deal of sense in the grand scheme of things.
Unfortunately, as a new study has found, the vast majority are afraid to speak out on subjects like that.
The College Free Speech Rankings project, a joint undertaking by FIRE, College Pulse and RealClearEducation, released their report last week. Based on a survey of nearly 20,000 students at 55 colleges, this is the largest-ever examination of how conducive colleges and universities are to free expression. Some of its key findings are:
• Overall 60% of the students note that they self-censor at least once during their college careers for fear of how others will respond.
• A significantly larger number of Conservative students report self-censoring (72%) compared to Liberal students (55%).
• The predominant viewpoint at about 75% for state colleges is Liberal compared with 94% of private colleges and 100% of the Ivies sampled.
• Only 1 in 4 students reports being very comfortable discussing a controversial political topic with their classmates.
• Among the topics that students deem the most difficult to discuss are abortion, race, the Israel-Palestine conflict, gun control and transgender issues.
I won’t say I don’t care about any of those other issues, but they’re irrelevant for our purposes here. Gun control, however, isn’t.
It’s actually interesting that more than half of the liberal students surveyed felt the need to self-censor, though, since the schools are predominantly liberal, as noted in the survey. It suggests that many left-leaning students are insufficiently left for some professors’ tastes. Then again, there could be other reasons they self-censor as well.
The truth of the matter, though, is that our college campuses aren’t open for free discussion of ideas. Students fear speaking out on some topics because they fear academic repercussions of they make a stand on something like supporting the Second Amendment. It’s absolutely pathetic that anyone should feel that way.
Of course, these are typically the same kind of people that try to cancel any celebrity that doesn’t drink the anti-gun Kool-Aid. Except for Keanu Reeves, at least. Then again, they might just be too scared of Keanu to screw with him.
Anyway, at least we can now see how widespread the problem actually is. Now the question is, what are we going to do about it?