October 19, 2013
The Academy's Hypersensitive Hissy Fits
By Robert Oscar Lopez
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/...#ixzz2iCb2qH5f
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
The Chronicle of Higher Education is the newspaper of record for the field of higher education. As such, it is presumably a cultural bellwether, indicating the direction in which American, and to some degree global, intellectuals are headed.
Scrolling through the Chronicle is like strolling through a carnival of rhetorical excess, with histrionic broadsides about "the crisis in the humanities" and the "war on science." We pass the occasional popcorn stand selling sentimental concerns about the serf class of untenured adjuncts, who actually do the lion's share of teaching.
Lately, however, even my typical delight in sparring with liberals through the Chronicle has been dampened by a plague of articles about people being offended. Too many of the headlines are about somebody posting a risqué Facebook status or an administrator agreeing to speak before people with politically incorrect views. The epidemic of umbrage, outrage, and protest has spread from the predictable liberal fever swamps, where Ann Coulter gets scrapped by angry Fordham prigs, to our own conservative quarters, where rightists connive to sink the careers of Kansas journalism teachers tweeting about the NRA and Michigan creative writers who don't like Republicans (my mindset is this: if you're a Republican in college, you need to get used to being criticized!).
The grave issues weighing on my colleagues' consciousness aren't the atrocious failures of higher education professionals to run colleges (tuition has increased by 439%, and forty years of progressive college ideology have widened class inequality). Nor is their primary concern the fact that academics are not always providing truthful and useful information to the public (ironclad "consensuses" about the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions and the wondrous benefits of same-sex parenting have turned out to be exceedingly flimsy).
It's always the conservatives' fault. We know this.
But even American Thinker readers may be shocked at just how distracted these aegis-bearers are, by faux pas that they deem "offensive," "insulting," or "disrespectful." Nowadays, it seems that the entire American professoriate has been transformed from medieval monks doing cloistered research, into a mob of screeching lunatics escaping the asylum at midnight and running through the streets in their nightgowns, howling at ghosts at every turn....