Saturday, July 11, 2009

I thought it already was...

...was I missing something?

"The culture wars have been ongoing in this country for many years," Worthington said. "We can't afford for the university to become a political battleground."

Call me crazy, but I thought it already was a political battleground, at least to some extent. Seriously, what kind of debate would I stir up if, say, I walked into this guy's classroom wearing this shirt? Or what of professors such as Ward Churchill or Michael Bellesiles? ATR just threw a shit fit with a bunch of bloggers, but in the cases of the actions of the other two, if the students on their campuses are anywhere nearly as well-read and informed as they should be, there's going to be at least a little bit of conflict there. I can understand the desire of college administrators to minimize the risk of violent conflict, but clamping down on free speech isn't the way to do it. If you do it that way and don't address why they feel they have to settle heated debates with their fists, you'll still have a group of hot-tempered individuals under the dangerous delusion that's the way to go about it. I can only imagine how that sounds...and believe me, I know there are some things only violence will settle. Maybe they could start teaching students about the use of force continuum, initiation of force and things like that. Of course I may well be reading entirely too much into this whole thing. Reading that story again, I can't help but think they're just trying to avoid hurt feelings. They said the Missouri workshop was "tolerating offensive speech without allowing racial, ethnic, cultural and religious slurs or sexually explicit remarks." (I wonder if "gun nut" or "gun freak" counted as a cultural slur...) Well that's just peachy, but when you take away the slurs and sexually explicit remarks, what exactly is left that is offensive? Who gets to define that? And WHY do they get to define it? I honestly don't know where the line should be drawn, but I do think we as a society should grow the hell up, grow a thicker skin and work on just brushing things off. The alternative is something our forefathers fought and died to prevent, and we owe them and our progeny more than that.