With professors largely staying quiet while angry social justice brats take over their classrooms, students have become more emboldened to ramp up their disturbance efforts for the pet cause du jour. One of the most recent incidents occurred this fall at Reed College in Portland, where a Western Civilization classroom was bombarded with protesters complaining that the course was too “Eurocentric” — as if there’s any other kind of “-centric” for Western Civ! Instead of removing the SJWs from the class, the professors removed themselves and left their students (who wanted to learn) in the care of these progressive ne’er-do-wells. But for one Reed College professor, this must stop.
Lucía Martínez Valdivia teaches English and humanities and also experienced similar disruptions by students protesting her required courses on classical Greek philosophers. This experience compelled her to write an op-ed to urge other professors to stop allowing this behavior to continue uncontested, or else watch campuses fall to the new totalitarians:
Three times a week, students sat in the lecture space holding signs — many too obscene to be printed here — condemning the course and its faculty as white supremacists, as anti-black, as not open to dialogue and criticism , on the grounds that we continue to teach, among many other things, Aristotle and Plato.
In the interest of supporting dissent and the free exchange of ideas, the faculty and administration allowed this. Those who felt able to do so lectured surrounded by those signs for the better part of a year. I lectured, but dealt with physical anxiety — lack of sleep, nausea, loss of appetite, inability to focus — in the weeks leading up to my lecture…. The signs intimidated faculty into silence, just as intended, and these silenced professors’ lectures were quietly replaced by talks from people willing and able to carry on teaching in the face of these demonstrations.
I think obscuring these acts of silencing was a mistake that resulted in an escalation of the protesters’ tactics.
Valdivia told professors to ask themselves an introspective question: “If I, like so many colleagues nationwide, am afraid to say what I think, am I not complicit in the problem?”
“At Reed and nationwide, we have largely stayed silent, probably hoping that this extremist moment in campus politics eventually peters out,” she added. “But it is wishful thinking to imagine that the conversation will change on its own.”
For those few professors and administrators who have stood up against the leftist bullies, they have found themselves out of a job. This has sent the message to others who disagree to keep quiet. But nothing will stop this extremism unless a zero-tolerance policy is adopted by universities to keep these disruptions out of class rooms and out where it belongs — on the four-by-four square of concrete designated as a free speech zone.