Phi Beta Cons

Campus Crybullies Explained

What goes on inside the minds of today’s campus crybullies – the ones who shout down ideas they don’t like and demand speakers they disagree with be prohibited from campus?

Here’s one explanation from Zach Wood, a 20-year-old political science and philosophy major at Williams College who has been called an “Uncle Tom” for leading a group on campus called Uncomfortable Learning, which aims to challenge students to think outside the progressive and preppy college’s so-called Purple Bubble by bringing thought-provoking speakers to campus. 

“Especially for some students of color, it truly does hurt them in a deep way,” said Wood, who is black and a Democrat but has still been called names such as “Ben Carson” and “Clarence Thomas” for his role in working to bring speakers to campus who tout anti-feminist ideas and racially charged arguments. 

But when he invited conservative Suzanne Venker last fall, student backlash was so severe Wood was accused of dipping his hands in the blood of victimized African-American sisters, and Venker’s talk was canceled by the group. This month, after Wood invited paleoconservative John Derbyshire to discuss “national identity,” Williams College shut the event down after students complained the speech would amount to “violence” against them.

Emotions run deep with today’s campus crybullies.

“In the same way of Israel and Palestine, the issue of race for African Americans is sometimes such a sensitive issue,” Wood told The College Fix.

“The other type of student is: You are my adversary, you are my political enemy, and I just don’t want you here you. I will do whatever I have to do — dramatize this, self victimize, say whatever I have to say — to ensure you don’t step foot in my home,” Wood said. 

For Wood, he said he wants a chance to debate ideas, adding his university needs to do a better job of “instructing students of ways in which they can separate the head from the heart and think critically.”

“I am not saying emotion isn’t a real thing,” Wood said. “But if we’re going to have an intellectual, fruitful conversation, my whole thing is take John Derbyshire to task. Ask him tough questions. Criticize. Figure out what is the evidence. This guy is clearly not stupid … try to figure out how is it someone of his intelligence can think what he thinks and be OK with that.”

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