Across the country, campus activism seems to be on the rise. From the University of Missouri to Yale and beyond, students (and some faculty) are critiquing their institutions as hostile environments for people of color and women. At Yale, allegations of a “white girls only” frat party coincided with the wife of an Administrator criticizing an email asking students to be racially sensitive in their Halloween costume choices. In Missouri, the University’s handling of several racist incidents this fall led to the resignation of its President and Chancellor.
These and similar incidents on campus have also spawned numerous opinion pieces condemning young people today as intolerant, over-sensitive censors who “catastrophize” minor slights and endanger civil liberties by shutting down anyone who disagrees with them. This week, Conor Friedersdorf wrote a piece in THE ATLANTIC entitled, “The New Intolerance of Student Activism,” which joins earlier articles such as Edward Schlosser’s “I’m a Liberal Professor and my Liberal Students Terrify Me.” This school of liberalism essentially argues that kids today are spoiled brats who don’t know how good they’ve got it.