Quad at Oxford University, England

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Quad at Oxford University, England
Quad at Oxford University, England, by PublicDomainPictures

Dear Son,

In a recent letter I talked a bit about Universities and College, and making sure that your education suited the life you had decided to make for yourself.  There are other things that concern me about them that are just as worrisome as whether or not the degree itself is valuable.

In the years just before your birth, things have turned very sour politically on campus.  Schools have been taken over by a crowd that is sometimes called “Social Justice Warriors”, among other names.  Their particular ideology can vary, but the underlying ideas are all the same. They always claim to be protecting the rights of the people who cannot speak for themselves, but in practice they are the worst kind of totalitarian.  If you have the “wrong” attitude, the “wrong” opinion, follow the “wrong” philosophy, or your skin happens to be the “wrong” colour they consider you scum, unworthy of compassion and your opinions automatically unwelcome.

The funny thing is that they claim to be fighting for the rights of the poor, the gay, the black, the immigrant, the atheist, and mistreated women.  All people that I believe still need a little extra protection from state-enacted violence.  I believe that every person in the world ought to be given the same freedom to choose, and the same opportunities as everyone else.  Although, I don’t see them as victims, the way this crowd does. There is nothing more idiotic in this world than tribalism: if humankind is going to survive we need to stop treating each other as being lesser just because we might be a bit different.

But the problem is that these Social Justice Warrior types aren’t actually interested in ending bias.  They don’t see the world in terms of opportunities, freedoms, or choices.  They think the world is all about power and who gets to use it.  They want power, and they think the only way to get it is to take it away from other people.

Right now their focus is on gender and skin colour:  they see straight men as having too much power – especially white straight men.  They want to take as much power away from straight when men as they can any way they can  Because Universities are where they have the most influence already, they have been working to make them a dangerous for White Men.

Right now, Universities are creating special courts where young men accused of sexual crimes can be tried and punished without due process.  With a standard of evidence so flimsy it wouldn’t even be accepted in many dictatorships.  They are trying to take away the idea of Mens Rea– the idea that you have to have meant to cause harm or been callous to have committed a crime.

If a woman decides months after the fact that she didn’t like the way you touched, kissed, or had sex with her, she can call for you to be brought before a tribunal with no lawyer, accused of a serious crime like Sexual Assault, and have you convicted on little other than her bad feelings.  The punishment being a permanent mark on University transcripts that might make it forever impossible to get a good job.  It has turned life on campus into a relationship minefield for young men.

Young white men like yourself are often excluded from events for students because you supposedly have so much power and influence that you don’t need extra help.  In other places in Universities you might find yourself forbidden from speaking because as a White male their ideology tells them that your very presence makes a place “unsafe” for other people to speak.

These sorts of things come and go in phases.  I am hoping this insanity won’t last.  For the first time since 1970s the “Social Justice”crowd is finally getting push-back.  People get ready to fight when they see their rights being stepped on.  If we are lucky this kind of insane, unjust, bullying behaviour will die out by the time you are old enough to read this.  People are finally applying some logic and saying “Either it is okay to hate someone for the colour of their skin or it is not.  You don’t get to make up exceptions.  And if it is okay, then everything else you say about racism and sexism being bad is a lie.  I’s time to make up your mind.”

But if this trend holds, then University is the last place I would want to send you.  You should never be expected to accept being treated as less than a human being by anyone, not for the colour of your skin, not for the people you are attracted to, and not for the sex of your body. Especially when it comes to the way you are treated in the eyes of the Law.

Rest assured that I am keeping an eye on campus culture, and the alternatives, so that in a few years as you are getting ready to find your way in the world, we will make sure that you can learn what it is needful for you to learn to make the life that you want while also making sure you are treated with Respect and Dignity.

With Love,

Dad

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