Prof: conservatives outnumbered because they're 'truth deniers'
A professor recently argued that “it is hard to be a campus conservative”—not because schools are “bastions of liberalism” but simply “because they are universities.”
Professor Leslie Green, who currently teaches at Balliol College of Oxford University but has held several visiting professorships at institutions like the University of California-Berkeley and New York University, argued in a recent blog post that conservatives do not fit in on campus because they are “truth-deniers.”
"Maybe they can take comfort in the welcoming company they can find in America’s churches."
“When the right claims that US universities have been taken over by ‘liberals’, and that faculty and students of ‘conservative’ opinions are afraid to speak up, they do not mean that its campuses are now swamped by people who think we should restrict liberty only to prevent harm to others, or who demand that social inequalities benefit the worst-off,” he writes, instead claiming “they mean American universities are full of people who believe things like” the idea that species “arose through natural selection” [emphasis in original].
He goes on to list several other “individual claims which are endorsed by all but a minority in serious universities,” such as that “no author of any Gospel ever met Jesus,” or that “the United States lost a war against vietnam.”
“Even more threatening to conservatives, however is not these individual claims,” Green continues, but the “dominance of habits of thought, modes of inquiry, and sensibilities of outlook that lead people to these conclusions.”
While Green concedes that “every society” should tolerate so-called “truth-deniers,” he then states that their place is not necessarily in higher education, saying it is not the responsibility of universities “to provide ‘safe spaces’ for those whose political identity is bound up with ignorance and superstition.”
“That means universities can never be comfortable for a certain kind of conservative,” he writes, suggesting that Middlebury College students were wrong to shut down a Charles Murray event, but that UC-Berkeley students were right to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking.
“Those who think views in the college should mirror votes in the electoral college are bound to feel cheated,” he concludes. “Maybe they can take comfort in the welcoming company they can find in America’s churches, legislatures, and even its courts.”
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