Jonathan Haidt made an interesting discovery while giving a talk at a private West Coast high school:
So let me get this straight. You were unanimous in saying that you want your school to be a place where people feel free to speak up, even if you strongly dislike their views. But you don’t have such a school. In fact, you have exactly the sort of “tolerance” that Herbert Marcuse advocated. You have a school in which only people in the preferred groups get to speak, and everyone else is afraid.
Sounds sort of like Providence.
Such is the scam that progressives have pulled on the West. They’re all for freedom of speech, they say, and even a healthy dose of intellectual diversity. It’s just that the folks on the right want to say things that are so bad that they transcend mere language into the realm of physical harm. Anybody can speak, so long as their words are within a certain range and that their errors aren’t of the sort that are frustratingly difficult to disprove, even though uncomfortable.
The quotation above comes from a smaller session that Haidt conducted after he’d given a talk to the whole school. When he’d opened the larger session for Q&A, he says, “it was the most unremittingly hostile questioning I’ve ever had.” The second question, for example, was “So you think rape is OK?”… followed by creepy finger snapping that intimidated Haidt like no other experience during his 25-year career of teaching and public speaking.
Note, also, the bifurcated society that the school has fostered, as Haidt describes the event. He could find only one male student raising his hand to ask a question, and when he did, it was in concert with the hostile girls. Yet, at the conclusion, other boys stood while they clapped, and a male-only line formed to personally thank him.
In the smaller session, Haidt discovered that boys, whites, and conservatives at the school feel uncomfortable voicing opinions that differ from the tolerated view. The only conservative who said he felt free to talk about his views during class acknowledged that “everyone gets mad at him when he speaks up.”
This asphyxiating cloud was already beginning to descend on education when I was in college almost twenty years ago (being that one who spoke up against conformity). I can only imagine how bad it’s become since then.