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College’s suffocating focus on oppression studies turns liberal student conservative

Two years ago, Jay Stephens graduated from a liberal arts college a changed woman. She went in ready to expose cultural insensitivity and hoping to change the world, and came out with a pragmatic — and conservative — view of America.

This week, she spelled out her journey in a clever and witty piece in Vice. While she never mentions her alma mater by name, it sounds like it could be one of a host of liberal arts institutions that pepper this nation and strive to give students only one side of the story. Smart young women like Stephens resent such obvious indoctrination.

Stephen’s column, titled “Four Years at a Liberal Arts College Turned Me into a Conservative,” reads in part:

It all started with a quiet disdain for political correctness, a seed that grew—through the miracle of college—into a giant beanstalk. I quickly learned that, at liberal arts school, the general aim of each class was to identify something problematic, discuss it, and then refuse to do anything about it. We were expected to offer solutions, of course, but the only acceptable answers were noncommittal and intersectional. Any attempt to get to the actual root of a problem was generally seen as problematic too, and a politically-correct policing was instituted to hinder any real solutions of important issues. Most group discussions devolved into us asking one another how to ask questions about something problematic without being problematic.

After a childhood and adolescence of being the only black kid in class, I never would have considered myself an enemy of political correctness. I was rather indignant about exposing cultural insensitivities until I was inundated with college classes that seemed dedicated to manifesting real and imagined enemies from every available shadow. So I began to check out, and (much to my surprise) quietly echo the conservative sentiments against over-sensitivity that I had once dismissed as bigotry.

After I became annoyed with political correctness, I started seeing it everywhere and gradually became convinced there was a conspiracy going on to brainwash me and my peers. Most of the guest speakers at my liberal arts school were leftist journalists, leftist activists, or leftist professors from other leftists schools. In my experience, the other slots were reserved for different types of sex workers: I attended a film lecture given by a very skilled paraplegic porn star who showed us some of her work, and an art performance given by a woman who masturbated behind a curtain.

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