Diversity and Community on Campus


(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Just in time for the Ben Shapiro non-Ragnarok in Berkeley, OCPA’s Perspective carries my article on diversity and community on campus:

The dominant group, on the political Left, learns from these episodes that getting offended brings power. Stigmatizing people and destroying their lives pays off. By crushing their victims, they establish themselves as the people who must be kept happy if peace is to be maintained.

The oppressed minority group, on the political Right, is also incentivized to escalate the conflict. Increasingly, conservative students conclude that they are desperately besieged, and fighting back with equally divisive tactics is the only realistic response to their oppressed state. Worse, conservative websites and activists make big bucks circulating stories of on-campus outrage for clicks and donations.

I dissent from criticism of Harvard’s “black graduation” on the Right:

It was a student-run, unofficial event that took place two days before the official ceremony, and thus did not affect it. Anyone was permitted to attend the event.

In other words, a private student group held its own event on campus, celebrating something it wanted to celebrate—its positive sense of its own identity and achievements. That’s a perfect example of what happens in real communities. It’s no more a threat to the solidarity of the broader, multiethnic university than a “Kiss me, I’m Irish” button.

Thankfully Harvard hasn’t done anything monumentally stupid in the meantime that might make me regret defending them.

I also offer thoughts on how colleges can strengthen both community and free speech. Your free speech in response is welcome!

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