The problem on campuses is that the elder members of the old New Left, and their spiritual descendants, are finding it impossible to object to the demands of the new New Left. In 1964 campus protesters kicked off the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley. Today’s students don’t have free speech high on their agenda, to put it mildly.
During the outdoor struggle session at CMC last week, an Asian student volunteered that she had once heard “go back to your home” shouted at her by a black person. “We should not distinguish people by their race or gender or anything. Black people can be racist,” she said. “I just mean that we have to look at people individually.” The crowd moaned disapproval and a young woman took back the bullhorn. Someone yelled that “racism is prejudice with power,” a shibboleth of the new New Left. Someone else shouted, “How is that relevant to the college failing to provide a space for people of color?”
That is what the protests are about: reordering campus in the name of the “marginalized” and their sponsors in the faculty and administration, whose turn has come to enjoy their own reign of intolerance. When the leftists lacked power, they embraced free speech. Now that they have power, they don’t need it.