True story: Wellesley used to be a thought of as a good school with bright students.
In fairness, despite all of the attention being paid online today to this fascist anti-fascist excrescence (the paper’s server is overwhelmed with traffic as I write this), there’s nothing in it that you wouldn’t hear on any other campus or in any other campus’s faculty lounge. It’s distinguished by two things, one being the surprisingly poor quality of the writing. Normally when you’re claiming the intellectual authority to reeducate the unwashed and, if need be, to ostracize the unrepentant among them, you proofread your copy to make sure clanging phrases like “We have all said problematic claims” have been safely excised beforehand.
The other distinction is that tirades about “hate speech” usually don’t come with overt threats of “hostility” towards the infidels. They should, since that’s how this nonsense plays out in practice, as Charles Murray could tell you. But there’s still enough of a veneer of intellectualism in apologias for this sort of thought-policing that consequences for the nonconformists are usually merely implied, not recommended.
Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging…
We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way. It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control. While it is expected that these lessons will be difficult and often personal, holding difficult conversations for the sake of educating is very different from shaming on the basis of ignorance.
This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted. If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions. It is important to note that our preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn. Rather, we are not referring to those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so. Paid professional lecturers and politicians are among those who should know better.
You would think the Committee of Public Safety would give all citizens an opportunity to recant their thoughtcrimes and accept reeducation before “appropriate measures” are taken. But no, they’re quite explicit that if you’ve resisted previous efforts at deprogramming, “beration” is the only correct course. You can confess moral error or you can be flogged for it. Rarely do these screeds reveal their essence as religious manifestos as clearly as this one does.
Anyway. Send your kids to school somewhere else. Just don’t expect them to be able to avoid this garbage, wherever they end up.