As Donald Trump has settled into the presidency, the intolerance on college campuses has only intensified.
That’s the argument Alex Contarino, a research assistant with The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, makes in a new article posted on the think tank’s website. Contarino writes the progressive politicization of the academy has only emboldened since Trump took office. Campus leftists, he writes, now see themselves in a war, so to speak:
Unfortunately, in these early days of Trump’s presidency, similar politicization seems to persist throughout much of academia. Many leftist students, faculty, and administrators pay only lip service to the notion that higher education should be a marketplace of ideas. They now seem to view themselves as combatants in an ideological war.
Contarino adds that recent “protests and temper tantrums in response to the President’s inauguration and policy proposals reveals continued allegiance not to civil discourse, but to identity politics and an intolerant strand of progressivism.” And he provides examples of the progressive politicization on college campuses:
[I]dentity-obsessed lectures and workshops remain popular events across the University of North Carolina system. For example, at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Anthropology Department is hosting a “Race, Difference, Power” colloquium in early March.
At NC State, the GLBT center recently conducted two identity-based workshops: “What is racial justice?” and “Recognizing and Responding to Microaggressions.” A third, “Sitting With Privilege,” is scheduled for the end of March. And Duke and NC Central are partnering in late March to host a day-long conference titled “Let’s Talk Racism: Recognizing, Resisting, and Revising.”
Conversely, there are universities where some “appear to be striving to understand alternative viewpoints and avoid the divisiveness of identity politics,” Contarino writes. But the liberal bias in higher education has dire consequences, which are being made clear:
The apparent breakdown of higher education’s marketplace of ideas seems to be spilling over more and more into the broader culture. For example, some conservatives in the San Francisco area are having to meet in secrecy, fearing even to tell their friends or family. As Bay Area resident Robert Ward described it, being a conservative is like “being a heretic” in some areas of California—a sad indication of how inhibited free and honest discussion has become.