Cornell University senior Julius Kairey, a conservative student columnist for the Cornell Daily Sun campus newspaper, was viciously smeared last month with fliers spread around the Ivy League university that labeled him a “Racist Rape Apologist.”
His crime? Daring to question stats behind the so-called campus rape epidemic and defending due process for those accused of sexual assault. He also wrote a column titled “Islamophobia and Racism” last spring that ruffled some feathers. And the fact that he writes a weekly conservative column in general makes him a target for radical angst.
The perpetrators of the vandalism have eluded capture or punishment. Meanwhile, Kairey’s latest column, while not specifically addressing the incident, calls out campus liberals – noting “Cornell’s bullies demand tolerance but deliver intolerance; they demand civility but provide incivility.”
Political bullies on campus are defined by two characteristics. First, the fervent belief that they stand for the oppressed. As long as you aren’t “privileged” (usually meaning a white, heterosexual, Christian male) they will do whatever is necessary to liberate you from the second-class status supposedly conferred upon you by America’s inherently bigoted society. Second — as far as I can tell — the zealous conviction that as long as these groups advocate for what is “just,” they do not actually have to practice what they preach. They can ask others to do as they say, not as they do.
We see the same recurring patterns. When a controversial proposal one of the groups dislikes is suggested, they decry it as “divisive” and demand that it be defeated, launching vicious attacks against its sponsor. But when a proposal in line with their views is under consideration, any disagreement with the measure serves as proof of how far the powerful will go to prevent their definition of justice from triumphing, further reinforcing their perceived need for change. In the face of an opposing point of view, these bullies insist that the view must be based on illegitimate hatred and bigotry and should therefore be silenced. Yet, they derisively dismiss mainstream American society as racist, sexist and homophobic without feeling a moment of shame for being so condescendingly close-minded. …
Cornell’s radical ideologues usually get away with their hypocrisy because they react with such venomous hostility to anyone who calls them out on it. They only celebrate “speaking truth to power” when they are the ones doing the talking.
The voices of those that have truly suffered, or may come to suffer, from racial and gender discrimination, and other denials of basic human rights, are lost in the din of accusation and demonization. Let me be clear: Some of these bullies truly are victims. Still, they should recognize that that does not give them the right to bully others. All of us would benefit from addressing these important issues in an open, honest and democratic way, leading to the implementation of better policies with the added legitimacy of being supported by the Cornell student body.
As much as some students may not want to live by the same rules they seek to impose on the rest of us, accountability requires something very different. If Cornell’s political bullies ever hope to establish a modicum of moral authority, they might actually have to stand with liberal principles of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom to dissent.
He gave some recent examples from his university to hammer home the point – campus radicals taking over a student government meeting by force last spring to support a campaign to divest from Israel (a protest group that called itself the “Ad Hoc Committee for Student Democracy.” It’s unclear if they saw any irony in that). Kairey also cited a protest against sexual assault on campus last month at which some accused Cornell of corruption and immorality.
Beyond Cornell, it’s commonplace on campuses nationwide for conservative opinions to be shouted down or even silenced as “hate speech,” “intolerance,” “bigotry,” “ignorance,” “racism,” “homophobia” – the Left often labels those who posit ideas they disagree with rather than address the merit of those arguments or engage in discourse.
As Kairey points out – they are the ones who act with “venomous hostility,” and are “condescendingly close-minded” and “political bullies.”
It’s great to see a brave conservative student standing up to this pressure – even in the wake of such a truly hate-filled and slanderous attack against him.