Phi Beta Cons

Campus Rebels

Pro-Trump message at Emory University

Just as many people laugh at the idea that there will be riots at the upcoming Republican presidential convention, the notion that conservative college students will raucously shut down university governing board meetings, occupy administration buildings, and hold campus grievance protests to demand an end to the liberal bias in higher education is also farcical. 

That’s not how they tend to behave. Conservative students write letters, launch thoughtful petitions, call on peers’ and professors’ intellectual sides to try and win the day. So far, it’s gotten them diddly squat.

So now we are seeing the rise of parody. These include “White Student Union” Facebook pages, hilarious satirical lists of demands from PEDs (People of European Descent), and campus chalk drawings declaring “Trump 2016.” These are attempts to mock, antagonize – and put in perspective — snowflakes’ and crybullies’ absurdity.

The truth is, today the students who are actually “marginalized” (to borrow one of the campus grievance industry’s favorite terms) are either conservative, Republican, Christian or Jewish. And let’s not forget the Greek community – the many frat boys pigeonholed as drunken rapists and thrown under the bus by campus tribunals to appease feminists and adjudicate a misguided and possibly illegal interpretation of Title IX under the Obama administration. Underscoring all that are the accusations of cultural appropriation and white privilege. 

But the keg has burst. The anonymity of simple chalk drawings and Facebook pages, gave rise to those in the campus community who wanted to push back. At this point, it’s mostly harmless name-calling and humor, despite the fact that campus police at at least four different universities have been alerted to easily-erased Trump taunts over the last week or so.

Ultimately, students and campus observers behind the mocking are frustrated and want to dispute on some level their narcissistic peers who accuse them, all of higher education, and indeed the entire nation of this nebulous and sketchy “institutionalized racism.” They can’t do it to their faces, because they will be screamed at and attacked on social media, called all manner of names, have bias incident reports filed on them, and the like. 

So from White Student Union Facebook pages to #TheChalkening to … well, we’ll see. But my best guess is we have not seen the last of campus rebels.


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