High stakes at New College

As a tactical matter, the complaint is a clear attempt to disrupt the conservative reforms at New College, which represent a threat to the Left’s hegemony over higher education. Since January, when the new board of trustees was announced, New College has secured record funding from the state legislature, begun a campus-wide renovation, launched a new core curriculum, and recruited the largest incoming class in the college’s history. For left-wing activists, who had previously considered New College as an outpost for social-justice activism, this state of affairs—conservative leaders implementing conservative reforms—was intolerable. They might chant for “democracy” in theory, but, in practice, they are more than willing to use anti-democratic tools to restrict any democratic action that might undermine their cultural power.

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As a strategic matter, a more dangerous element is in play: the manipulation of civil rights law. The Civil Rights Act, many have come to believe, was a noble response to Jim Crow segregation and other serious abuses that, over the years, has been distorted by left-wing activists, who have used it to force public and private institutions to conform to unrelated ideological demands.

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