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Amherst College students demand protection from hurtful ideas

Students at Amherst College recently protested the mere presence of a conservative speaker, saying students shouldn’t have to “feel afraid for their safety.”

By Dan Butcher

The disgusting circus acts at some of our colleges and universities is almost unbelievable. There are emerging similarities with the McCarthy era, when incorrect opinions literally got people fired from their jobs.

However, the difference from the 1950s is stark: today's crowd seem to generally hate America, and have lowered themselves to standards of tolerance that would have shocked even Joe McCarthy.

Spoiling children never works out well for anyone, particularly the children. "Uncle Sam" has encouraged these children to take on student debt, which he guarantees, albeit without having the money to cover the loans.  Cash has streamed into colleges and universities, driving up tuition prices, just like he did with home loans.  The only think we know for sure is that this is not sustainable.

When the loans slow up, liberal administrators, faculty and students will find that they are in a real bind. The volume of students / children on the free ride will suddenly discover its not free anymore.

From Campus Reform:

Students at Amherst College recently protested the mere presence of a conservative speaker, saying students shouldn’t have to “feel afraid for their safety.”

They found the speaker, Michael Graham, offensive and unqualified because he was fired from his talk radio show twelve years ago after repeatedly pointing out the relationship between Islam and terrorism.

Graham, notably, was only one of several speakers on a panel titled, “Why Military Action After 9/11 Was Justified and Saved American Lives,” which also included military veteran and State Representative John Velis; the state commander for the Department of Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eric Segundo; and Robert Roughsedge, an Army officer and commentator who served in Afghanistan in a NATO command.

In an open letter last week, members of the Muslim Students Association, the South Asian Students Association, and others say that they felt like their physical safety was at stake as a result of the Graham’s participation in the panel.

“No student should ever have to feel afraid for their safety or have to wake up in the morning knowing that there are other students on this campus who hate them for an integral part of their identity and are willing and able to voice these hurtful ideas on a public platform,” the letter declares.

Not only does the letter demand that the administration protect students from speakers with “hateful” opinions, it also declared that the Amherst College Republicans (ACR) should have consulted with other identity-based student groups like the Muslim Students Association and the South Asian Students Association before inviting speakers to campus.

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The temper tantrums of today will be mild in comparison to what is coming.  It will all work out, but the entire university system,  administrators, faculty and students are going to get a crash course in basic economics. They won't like it, but in the end, it will be good for them.

For most of my life I've been trying to understand why some societies function better than others, particularly the United States In the process I developed a theory about social change. My theory attempts to explain what and how it is about Protestantism that makes it work better and I think the growing chaos in American colleges provides an insight.

At the core is freedom with responsibility. From the beginning, I was taught that we are each responsible for our destiny, that we shouldn't expect someone else to save or do for us, but it was a passive message, if we are good we will be saved. I think the great leap forward came with the responsibility of each individual to read and interpret the Bible for themselves. This turned us into active pursuers of our own salvation and, of particular earthly relevance, our betterment.

Far and away the most important two things I was taught were unqualified respect for others, and personal responsibility. I was taught never ever to blame anything or anybody for whatever happens to me, that I alone made my own destiny and luck. I was literally belted on my behind whenever I broke these rules but otherwise I was given incredible freedom to do anything I wanted.

That is no longer the case. Too many kids are not taught that with freedom comes responsibility, except in the most innocuous and meaningless ways. Small wonder that so many students today have a sense of entitlement. That inner drive for personal responsibility for one's self improvement that was a defining characteristic is being lost.

I worry that the damage goes beyond how each individual wastes opportunities to better themselves, in the case of students by learning more from their college experience, and that on a larger scale it is weakening the moral fiber of society.

Why are universities "struggling to balance the free exchange of ideas with students’ growing desire to be shielded from offensive views" in the first place? What they should be doing is teaching these pampered, coddled kids about the Constitution and about what happens in places like Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and theocratic Iran when speech is throttled.

This generation of kids has been coddled like none before, yet also has been manipulated with fervent leftist narratives about injustice. They have no experience nor understanding of what it means to protest against real injustice, so they revert to the form of protesting as a fashion statement.

Close down the colleges. Send them all home to find jobs. See how they like that.

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