I think you have misapplied the Iron Law in your analysis of campus activism. You miss the mark when you cite the distribution of class backgrounds of the entire Middlebury student body and then use that as a means of invalidating a specific group of students’ concerns, without even talking about what those concerns are or even attempting to tell their side of the story, instead characterizing it as an assault on freedom.

Consider that the professors and administration are the institution. They have always been the institution. College culture is the way it is today because of this institution’s history, which is a history of white, male supremacy. All elements of college culture and standards of what is or is not free speech on college campuses have been created by a legacy of white men running these institutions, primarily to serve other white men, for centuries. Students are challenging this, and, in being dismissive of this, you are actually siding with the very institution that led to the distribution of class backgrounds at Middlebury that you implied is a problem. In other words, you are arguing for the status quo that created a system of inequity.

This, to me, is quite ironic. Students are invoking their own right to speak up and challenge white supremacist campus policies far and wide in American higher education, and the response from the administrations (to whom the Iron Law applies) and media pundits has been to create counterfactual narratives that students are out to usurp free speech. Not so. Students are out to topple old power establishments and have new and varied voices decide what campus culture and standards should look like.

Anti-intellectual attacks on the call for campuses to be safe spaces are, in short, a massive straw man concocted to invalidate challenges to a deeply entrenched hierarchy of white supremacy that dominates American higher education.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store