Okay, I’ve read the article. You know which one—the editorial in the Wesleyan newspaper, the Argus, that has resulted in the paper receiving less funding than it used to.
It’s not a great article, and Brian Stascavage, its author, seems at times to be laboring with the language, and with the differences between a feature and an op-ed piece.
That’s all irrelevant, really. His basic premise (if you don’t want to read it all) is that the Black Lives Matter movement may not be accomplishing its stated goals and may in fact be doing some harm. He cites a fair number of specifics, and though I might argue some of his opinions, I’ve heard more radical and hate-filled diatribes on cable under the guise of news and on radio from conservative talk-show hosts. I mention them because Mr. Stascavage is a conservative—and there’s the rub.
Colleges, Wesleyan among them, have always epitomized liberal and progressive thinking, and if this remains the case, Mr. Stascavage may very well feel outnumbered. But colleges have also been bastions of free speech, and lately there has been a disturbing trend to prohibit conservatives from participating in the academic exchange of ideas—speaking at forums, at commencement exercises, etc. It appears that liberals (and yes, I am one) like opposing points of view until the points of view oppose the liberals. That this attitude has spread to the press is particularly disturbing. If the conservatives want to scream second amendment abuse, shouldn’t the liberals be screaming similarly about the first amendment? If the conservatives have a pet amendment, shouldn’t liberals have one too? Instead, the Wesleyan Student Government , in an appalling display of lockstep intolerance, voted 27-0 to defund the Argus. Twenty-seven to nil. Now the conservatives apparently own the first amendment too. What’s left for us liberals to latch onto—the fact that we don’t have to quarter soldiers during peacetime?
I choose not to watch Fox News—it annoys me. I choose not to listen to Rush Limbaugh. Same reason. But those entities have as much right to express opinions as, well, as Brian Stascavage does. You can oppose them, defy them, even use their own arguments against them, but when you prevent them from speaking, you’re standing squarely on the moral low ground.
It’s interesting that Argus, in Greek mythology, was a creature with 100 eyes. Apparently at Wesleyan they’re mostly shut.