WHH (obviously a liberal) describes just how intimidated by liberal student protests today’s professors have become.
[L]iberal students scare the shit out of me. I know how to get conservative students to question their beliefs and confront awful truths, and I know that, should one of these conservative students make a facebook page calling me a communist or else seek to formally protest my liberal lies, the university would have my back. I would not get fired for pissing off a Republican, so long as I did so respectfully, and so long as it happened in the course of legitimate classroom instruction.
The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slipâ€”not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imageryâ€”and thatâ€™s it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and thereâ€™s a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance.
Is paranoid? Yes, of course. But paranoia isnâ€™t uncalled for within the current academic job climate. Jobs are really, really, really, really hard to get. And since no reasonable person wants to put their livelihood in danger, we reasonably do not take any risks vis-a-vis momentarily upsetting liberal students. And so we leave upsetting truths unspoken, uncomfortable texts unread.
There are literally dozens of articles and books I thought nothing of teaching, 5-6 years ago, that I wouldnâ€™t even reference in passing today. I just re-read a passage of Late Victorian Holocausts, an account of the British genocide against India, and, wow, today Iâ€™d be scared if someone saw a copy of it in my office. Thereâ€™s graphic pictures right on the cover, harsh rhetoric (â€œgenocideâ€), historical accounts filled with racially insensitive epithets, and a profound, disquieting indictment of capitalism. No way in hell would I assign that today. Not even to grad students.
Hereâ€™s how bad itâ€™s gotten, for reals: last summer, I agonized over whether or not to include texts about climate change in my first-year comp course. They would have fit perfectly into the unit, which was about the selective production of ignorance and the manipulation of public discourse. But I decided against including them. They forced readers to come to uncomfortable conclusions. They indicted our consumption-based lifestyles. They called out liars for lying. Lots of uncomfortable stuff. All it would take was one bougie, liberal student to get offended by them, call them triggering, and then boom, thatâ€™s it, thatâ€™s the end of me.
Read the whole thing.
Do note: Professor WHH (obviously not the sharpest pencil in the box) is so spooked that he/she? is actually afraid that teaching “the evils of British Imperialism” and “climate change” (what two topics could possibly be more PC?) might provoke a hostile leftist response.