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And That’s Why I’m Turning You In



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Many of the folks who control today’s university grew up listening to Phil Ochs. Ochs was a truly great protest singer who’s music was thoroughly political–much more overtly political than anything written by Dylan. Yet Ochs’s songs worked brilliantly as music, something extraordinarily difficult for a thoroughly political popular song to do.

One of Ochs’s best songs was “Love Me, I’m a Liberal.” “Love Me I’m a Liberal” is the sort of music that helps make sense of why even “old fashioned” campus liberals allowed their radical colleagues to run roughshod over university freedoms. It defines an atmosphere that eventually came to infuse many campuses. “Love Me I’m a Liberal” ends with the brilliant punchline “And that’s why I’m turning you in.” Yet in the event — and as we ought to have expected — it was the socialist left that ended up turning us all in, not the good old-fashioned liberals. Or rather, a large section of liberalism itself morphed into something much closer to what the overtly socialist left had once been.

All of which brings me to a follow up on my post from yesterday about a mechanism to anonymously report alleged instances of campus bias. As I noted yesterday, a reporting system has been set up at William and Mary, where there is also now a site protesting this practice. Now readers have let me know about several other similar reporting systems, one at The University of Virginia (what is it about Virginia?), and one at the University of New Hampshire. I also received the following account from a former Princeton student:

Back at Princeton we had a similar “service” for about a semester. It wasn’t a report to the authorities, but a sort of blog set up for students called “Shades of Princeton” where we were all encouraged to post instances of insensitivity for all to see. For a couple of weeks people refrained from making off-color jokes in public citing fear of being posted, but within about a month the system delved into self-parody. The instances of bias became increasingly bizarre and self-adulatory–I seem to recall one girl posting that Americans’ general dispositions to learn only English is a hidden bias against foreigners. Eventually people started posting things like, “I experienced bias when I was admitted to Princeton. Other people received preferences because of the color of their skin and I was put at a racist disadvantage for being white.” Or “I tried to hook up with a Kappa and she turned me down. That kind of lookism is intolerable!” By next fall the site had disappeared.

I suspect there are other schools with reporting systems similar to the ones at William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and the University of New Hampshire. On the other hand, this may be a still relatively rare and novel phenomenon. It looks like it may already have jumped from the University of Virginia system to William and Mary. Will it spread further? Does FIRE know about this? Bravo to the folks fighting this at William and Mary.

As for you, Derb, you’ve been turned in more times than I know how to count. Must have developed some sort of immunity.

Oh, and this story, just in, definitively connects William and Mary to a witch-hunt.



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