Even in the realm of higher education, Portland’s Reed College is startlingly radical.
Student activists defamed the lesbian director of the pioneering transgender film “Boys Don’t Cry” last year, calling her a “cis white bitch” and crashing her campus Q&A so they could accuse her of profiting off violence against transgender people.
They also crashed a mandatory Western civilization class, focused on ancient Mediterranean thinkers, for much of the prior academic year, denouncing the curriculum for not including “voices of people of color.”
The constant disruptions and hair-trigger sensitivities are fostering an environment where Reedies, as they are known, practice self-censorship and keep their heads down as the radicals take over the historically free-thinking campus, The Economist reports:
Reed College students were ranked as the most liberal and the second most studious in Princeton Review’s survey of its top 382 liberal arts colleges. That compound of leftist politics and serious scholarship proved unstable last year as activists managed to cow the college’s administration, students and faculty alike. …
Many students have said privately that the campus has become a place where they are afraid to express dissenting opinions. Students who disagree with the protesters’ views, on social media, have been denounced as racists by activist leaders. A newly accepted international student was mocked when she asked her future classmates if there were any libertarian groups on campus. White students have complained that they have been told by other students that they are unjustified in speaking about race and identity in class. When one student voiced a dissenting opinion on social media, his classmate threatened to get him fired from his job at the college bookstore. “It’s an environment with limited representation of opinion, and it can be hostile to students who hold other views,” says Yuta Kato, a sophomore.
The disruptions against Hum 110 have also started up again:
Elizabeth Drumm, the head of the programme, made some introductory remarks, her voice quavering. As some faculty members moved to take their places at a panel discussion, three demonstrators emerged from the wings of the auditorium. “We’re protesting Hum 110 because it’s Eurocentric,” one began. “I’m sorry, this is a classroom space and this is not appropriate,” Ms Drumm said, immediately cancelling the lecture.
There are signs of counter-revolution, however. The college president finally warned Hum 110 crashers “the administration would act against potential violations” of its dissent policy, and some students have told off the protesters:
One (black) student told them: “This is a classroom. This is not the place. Right now we are trying to learn. We are freshmen students.” The rest of his speech was drowned out by applause.