Once again, Zane tries to defend the indefensible

Attacking Elon students for speaking their minds:

Recently, more than 150 people who identified themselves as Elon students signed a petition demanding that the school disinvite the woman tapped to deliver the Baird Pulitzer Lecture on Oct. 4. Who is this enemy of the state? Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post, whose syndicated column appears in newspapers around the country. Her crime: raising questions about modern feminism.

Thankfully, Elon’s leaders rejected this petition. But this incident illuminates a frightening trend that represents nothing less than an existential threat to American democracy – the rise of the authoritarian left.

Considering that Parker has been pushing the ludicrous "war on men" theory, which postulates the patriarchal society problem is merely a construct of out-of-control feminism, while also marginalizing the campus rape crisis by bashing girls who drink alcohol and have "second thoughts" the next day, I don't blame Elon students for trying to keep her blathering off the campus. But as usual, Zane misses the forest for the trees:

There is, of course, nothing liberal about this intolerance. It is a betrayal of the bedrock ideas of tolerance, civility and the free exchange of ideas that informed classical liberalism and was captured in the quote attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This is a movement away from liberalism and toward illiberal progressivism.

Campus rape and other forms of misogynistic behavior are not something to be "tolerated," nor do rape apologists deserve any form of "civility." And the last place these idiots need to have access to are college campuses, which are already dangerous enough for young female students.



Frightened by150 Elon Students

J. Peder Zane confesses himself to be frightened by a petition from 150 Elon Students whom he smears as members of the "authoritarian left" and "anti-speech."
Having made those unmerited connections between rational students objections and a leftists phantom, he pounds the panic drum, at length.
First, paralleling the construction of a column by a Feb. 11 Washinton Post column by Catherine Rampell, he proclaims "a highly visible anti-speech movement" at "top schools" and uses the results of a survey question that has been asked entering freshmen for decades to impute a rising willingness to suppress speech. That is, he asserts an anti-speech movement and then invites us to believe that responses to a single survey question explain the movement whose existence he has not proved. And whose existence Ms. Rampell did not earlier prove.
He proceeds apace from illogic to illogic, pounding his drum.
Those Elon students have a right to protest, and they did.
It was in part the right to protest the University of North Carolina students were defending when they invited Herbert Aptheker and Frank Wilkinson to speak. An action to which Zane makes opening reference so that he can bemoan a change in student attitudes he fails to prove.
When UNC refused to allow either of Aptheker or Wilkinson to speak on campus, a dramatic circumvention was devised. As Wikipedia documents, "they addressed the assembled crowd from across the stone wall that separates the university from the town of Chapel Hill." Students did file a lawsuit and on "February 19, 1968, a three-judge federal district court in Greensboro deliberated for 10 minutes before declaring the Speaker Ban Law invalid due to vagueness."
Zane's rattletrap construction of student decline deserves similar dismissal, especially by the students whose petition he appropriates to his screed.

Exactly. Not to mention

the bruhaha over Tancredo's less-than-enthusiastic welcome to spout his anti-immigrant nonsense on the UNC campus. It never ceases to amaze me the "outrage" affected by someone who spews hatred and then has it directed back at them. "It isn't fair!" :(

That survey response doesn't mean what they think it means

The student survey response Zane and others quote as evidence of the growing leftist attack on freedom of speech is actually an index of conservatism. As the survey manuscript explains:

Not only are liberal and conservative students even more likely to disagree on some of these sociopolitical views, but they also disagree on whether or not colleges have the right to ban extreme speakers on campus. Over half (55.1 percent) of conservative (and far right) students believe that colleges have the right to ban extreme speakers compared to only 28.5 percent of liberal (and far left) students. Thus, not only may some polarizing issues divide students, but the method by which they engage each other in dialogue concerning these issues may also be a point of disagreement. Facilitating dialogue and promoting civil discourse will be a challenge for student affairs professionals and faculty alike.