In a column for the Washington Examiner, former Evergreen State College professors Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying argue that leftist intolerance is killing higher education.
Earlier this year, biology professor Bret Weinstein found himself at the center of a campus controversy after he refused to participate in what the New York Times called “a day of racial segregation” at Evergreen State College. Now, both he and his wife, Heather Heying, also a former professor at Evergreen, are arguing that leftist academics are destroying higher education through their intolerance for ideas that don’t align with their own.
“At colleges and universities all over the country, students are protesting in increasingly virulent and sometimes violent ways. They demand safe spaces and trigger warnings, shouting down those with whom they disagree,” Heying and Weinstein began. “It has become rote for outsiders to claim that the inmates are running the asylum; that this is analogous to Mao’s Red Guard, Germany’s brown shirts, the French Revolution’s Jacobins; and, when those being attacked are politically “left” themselves, that the Left is eating its own. These stories seem to validate every fantasy the Right ever had about the Left.”
Heying and Weinstein argued that the social justice groups on campuses are akin to the right’s “white nationalist” crowd in both their degree of radicalism and penchant for authoritarianism. “Hateful white nationalists comprise a tiny but exceedingly loud minority of people on the Right,” they argued. “The analogous group on the Left is the virulent social justice crowd. Those who would have us destroy Martin Luther King’s dream comprise a small but disproportionately loud minority of people on the Left. Also, we would argue that “Right” and “Left” make little sense in either of these contexts. Both fringe groups, extremists wherever they are found, are more accurately described as authoritarian.”
“At Evergreen, a small fraction of students was the face of the protests, some even going so far as to patrol campus with baseball bats, threatening people, and vandalizing property,” they continued. “But the vast majority of students were not part of the protests. Some were yelled at, insulted, assaulted, even battered. Some left the school. Some graduated. Some are keeping their heads down, angry and scared, until they, too, graduate, while they wonder why their experiences are apparently of no interest to the college administration.”
“For today’s social justice warriors, only one narrative shall be allowed. It is unquestionable. Those who dissent are guilty. The “equity and inclusion” movement, cloaked in words that sound benevolent and honorable, is a bludgeon. To the outside world, Evergreen’s implosion looked like a student-motivated response to conditions on the inside. But the terrible conditions don’t really exist, and the real power dynamics, between administrators and faculty, were obscured by a narrative constructed to make resistance impossible.”
You can read the rest of Heying and Weinstein’s column here.