Last week, the Young Americans for Freedom- a conservative college organization- hosted Breitbart contributing editor Ben Shapiro at Marquette University. By all accounts, the presentation was a success as two lecture halls were filled to capacity. Regardless, the lead up to the appearance presented some drama from the social justice warriors on campus.
Prior to the appearance, a campus feminist group had written the administration requesting that they cancel the event. Having failed that avenue of “protest,” Chrissy Nelson- listed as a program assistant for the college’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies- suggested that activists use Eventbrite to get as many seats as possible so as to prevent others from having seats at the lecture. Nelson further alleged that Marquette only allowed Shapiro to attend after DePaul disallowed Shapiro to appear on campus.
But Nelson went even further and directed Susannah Bartlow to register as a student in order to attend the event. Bartlow had been fired in 2015 for a mural celebrating cop killer Assata Shakur- a/k/a Joanne Chesimard who sought and received asylum in Cuba after escaping from jail.
The YAF asked Dan Meyers- the provost at Marquette- for comment and he noted that the appearance by Shapiro had created controversy. In fact, it was the actions by some campus organizations that was creating the drama. Meyers, it should be noted, once carried a sign labeling all conservatives homophobic. He penned an op-ed pleading for critical thinking when considering conservative speakers. In other words, conservatives cannot think critically.
In the aftermath, Provost Meyers took umbrage with some of Shapiro’s comments, even though he did not attend the lecture. Shapiro noted that institutional racism is no longer the norm while Meyers states that legacy student admission is racist. Meyers is suggesting that students who wish to attend Marquette because a prior family member attended the school are perpetuating racism. Meanwhile, Meyers has a stated policy goal of 25% Hispanic students.
Follow this logic: to recruit legacy students is institutional racism. To set a goal of having 25% Hispanic students- probably at the expense of more qualified students- is not institutional racism. Skewing numbers to pander to progressives unfortunately throws off other metrics of “diversity” like socioeconomic status, religion and sex.
In his speech, Shapiro also mentioned a study from the Brookings Institute called the “Three Simple Rules to Join the Middle Class.” Those three rules are: (1) graduate from high school, (2) avoid early pregnancy, and (3) get a job. Provost Meyers also believes these simple rules are likewise racist stating that not all races have equal opportunity to get a job or graduate high school. Does he also assert that not all races have equal opportunity to get pregnant early?
This is typical of those on the Left which populate academia. He offers no solutions other than tried-and-failed “progressive policies,” or charges of racism. Provost Meyers need only make a trip to nearby Milwaukee to see how progressive policies have left the public school system in that city a disgrace. What can be a better example of true institutional racism than keeping largely minority students on the public education plantation?
Ironically, Meyers had lots to say about Shapiro, but that lecture was followed up by one by Shaun King, a former contributor to DailyKos and senior justice writer for the New York Daily News. He is also an activist within the Black Lives Matter movement. Next month, Marquette will host domestic terrorist Angela Davis. Will Meyers pen op-eds about their appearances also?
Marquette, like so many universities, profess tolerance of opposing views and a dedication to free speech. Unfortunately, they are just platitudes because in practice they act in the opposite direction. The McAdams story that originated out of Marquette is indicative of the mindset.
John McAdams was a professor of political science at that school. He is also conservative- an apparent anomaly who happened to help students form their chapter of the YAF. McAdams found himself on the wrong side of the campus thought police after posting on his blog, the Marquette Warrior, a disagreement between a teaching assistant and a student. The student had been reprimanded by the TA for expressing disagreement with gay marriage in a class. The TA informed the student that they had no right to express “homophobic” sentiments in the class. Considering that Marquette is a Catholic university where 60% of the student body is Catholic and the Catholic Church had taken a stance against gay marriage (this was before the Supreme Court’s ruling), the silencing of debate on gay marriage seemed rather politically correct.
A student disagreed with a teaching assistant in a class discussing the equal liberty principle of John Rawls as it pertained to contemporary issues. The instructor silences the student for their disagreement invoking the specter of homophobia. Professor McAdams blogs about the incident. The university silences McAdams by first revoking his tenure, suspending him without pay, banning him from campus, and then terminating him. McAdams is suing the university for violation of his First Amendment rights. This is the first known case in recent memory of a college professor losing their tenure for expressing a thought.
Such is the state of affairs at Marquette University. Of course, there have been other incidents at colleges from coast to coast. Just recently, the University of California at Santa Barbara came under fire by progressive groups on campus for allowing a scheduled appearance by the very same Ben Shapiro. The opposing groups have scheduled an alternate gathering where one supposes videos of cuddly puppies, Play-Do, and face painting will be the norm.
Marquette is just one example of the hypocrisy of academia. While professing to support diversity in their student body when it comes to sex, race, ethnicity, legality of being in the country, and gender identification dressed in well-worded “college missions,” they ignore or suppress the more important element of diversity- that of beliefs and thought.