Heather Mac Donald is not a provocatrice. She is not Ann Coulter. She is not a provocateur like Milo Yiannopolis. She is a serious scholar, working out the Manhattan Institute, who has written a book about the Obama Era tendency to shift blame for urban crime on to police officers. The book is called: The War on Cops.
In the world of alternative facts— here we can call them big lies— the black on black violence that infects many of our inner cities is the fault of white police officers. Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore… the problem is not the people who commit the crimes, but the police officers who are trying to keep the peace. The Obama Justice Department was investigating police departments for racism… because that’s the real problem in America’s minority communities.
Since the culture is increasingly incapable of holding criminals who belong to certain ethnic groups responsible for their crimes, members of said groups continue to be overrepresented in the criminal population.
Now, college students have been up in arms about mild-mannered Heather Mac Donald. Recently, a mob at Claremont-McKenna College in California shut down her speech, on the grounds that defending the police made her a fascist. We do not know who these students are. We do not know what if any punishment will be meted out by the cowardly fools who run the college. One suspects that these students are not the best and the brightest. One suspects that they protest because they find it less challenging than their course work.
Mac Donald described the inflammatory and mindless rhetoric that produced the demonstration:
Several calls went out on Facebook to “shut down” this “notorious white supremacist fascist Heather Mac Donald.” A Facebook post from “we, students of color at the Claremont Colleges” announced grandiosely that “as a community, we CANNOT and WILL NOT allow fascism to have a platform. We stand against all forms of oppression and we refuse to have Mac Donald speak.” A Facebook event titled “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascist Heather Mac Donald” and hosted by “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascists” encouraged students to protest the event because Mac Donald “condemns [the] Black Lives Matter movement,” “supports racist police officers,” and “supports increasing fascist ‘law and order.’” (My supposed fascism consists in trying to give voice to the thousands of law-abiding minority residents of high-crime areas who support the police and are desperate for more law-enforcement protection.)
How many of these students were accepted in order to fulfill diversity quotas? How many of them are angry and are protesting because they cannot compete in the classroom? These questions have arisen each time one of these violent protests takes place. University administrators tend to react by calling for more diversity… and thus are aggravating the problem.
The speech was live-streamed to an empty room:
I completed my speech to the accompaniment of chants and banging on the windows. I was able to take two questions from students via live-streaming. But by then, the administrators and police officers in the room, who had spent my talk nervously staring at the windows, decided that things were growing too unruly outside to continue. I was given the cue that the presentation was over. Walkie-talkies were used to coordinate my exit from the Athenaeum’s kitchen to the exact moment that a black, unmarked Claremont Police Department van rolled up. We passed startled students sitting on the stoop outside the kitchen. Before I entered the van, one student came up and thanked me for coming to Claremont. We sped off to the police station.
Yet, as Mac Donald remarked in a City Journal article, the fault for this madness lies with the faculty … and of course the administration. We were heartened to see that, after the appalling treatment that Charles Murray received at Middlebury College, hundreds of faculty members across the nation signed a ringing endorsement of free campus speech, penned by Princeton professors Cornel West and Robert George. And yet, talk is cheap. If faculty members hide under their desks while their campuses are being taken over by thugs, it’s just a lot of empty verbiage.
Mac Donald makes the point well:
Where are the faculty? American college students are increasingly resorting to brute force, and sometimes criminal violence, to shut down ideas they don’t like. Yet when such travesties occur, the faculty are, with few exceptions, missing in action, though they have themselves been given the extraordinary privilege of tenure to protect their own liberty of thought and speech. It is time for them to take their heads out of the sand.
Later in her article, Mac Donald answers her own question. The faculty is silent because these students are simply doing what their teachers have taught them to do. One needs mention, yet again, that many of the faculty members in Humanities and Social Science departments owe their jobs to ideological conformity and diversity politics. One suspects that many of the student demonstrators owe their acceptances to the same considerations. Our universities have dispensed with considerations of merit and we are paying the price.
When speakers need police escort on and off college campuses, an alarm bell should be going off that something has gone seriously awry. Of course, an ever-growing part of the faculty is the reason that police protection is needed in the first place. Professors in all but the hardest of hard sciences increasingly indoctrinate students in the belief that to be a non-Asian minority or a female in America today is to be the target of nonstop oppression, even, uproariously, if you are among the privileged few to attend a fantastically well-endowed, resource-rich American college. Those professors also maintain that to challenge that claim of ubiquitous bigotry is to engage in “hate speech,” and that such speech is tantamount to a physical assault on minorities and females. As such, it can rightly be suppressed and punished. To those faculty, I am indeed a fascist, and a white supremacist, with the attendant loss of communication rights.
In these events we see a consequence of the radicalization program effected by America’s colleges, and nationalized by the Obama administration.
The worst part is that these college students are America’s future. If that is the case America’s future is grim indeed. Mac Donald concludes:
We are cultivating students who lack all understanding of the principles of the American Founding. The mark of any civilization is its commitment to reason and discourse. The great accomplishment of the European enlightenment was to require all forms of authority to justify themselves through rational argument, rather than through coercion or an unadorned appeal to tradition. The resort to brute force in the face of disagreement is particularly disturbing in a university, which should provide a model of civil discourse.
But the students currently stewing in delusional resentments and self-pity will eventually graduate, and some will seize levers of power more far-reaching than those they currently wield over toadying campus bureaucrats and spineless faculty. Unless the campus zest for censorship is combatted now, what we have always regarded as a precious inheritance could be eroded beyond recognition, and a soft totalitarianism could become the new American norm.
The question now is whether the student radicals will be punished. The Claremont-McKenna administration says that they will, but we retain some skepticism.
William McGurn reports on the administration reaction:
In his note defending the university’s decision not to make arrests or force the hall open, CMC President Hiram Chodosh did say that students who blocked people from entering the Athenaeum “will be held accountable.” On Monday, a university spokeswoman, Joann Young, confirmed in an email that students found responsible face a range of sanctions including “temporary or permanent separation from the college.”
Beyond that we need what has happened at the University of Missouri. We need alumni who are willing to stop contributing to these schools. We need parents who refuse to allow their children to attend such schools. We need to see dorms shut down for lack of students. We need to see teachers and administrators relieved of their duties, for lack of funding.
Otherwise, this is going to continue. It will not end well.