The totalitarian incubators of American campuses are whirring at full speed these days. After Yale and Missouri, yesterday the Dean of Students at Claremont McKenna College was forced out. You can see the totally racist email that cost her her job here. Yesterday on the Hugh Hewitt Show guest host John Campbell asked me about the seething groves of academe:
JOHN CAMPBELL: I have to ask you about these college protests, the Missouri thing where the president of Missouri, and there's just breaking news today, a dean of students at Claremont McKenna College was forced to resign today because a couple of female students had a Facebook posting where they wore sombreros, and they were female students. They had sombreros - I'm looking at the picture here now - and mustaches. And the dean of students did not immediately crack down and throw these people in jail, I guess. So she was forced to resign. There were protests all over the - Marlon, who works here, goes to UCLA. He was let out of his classes early so that they could go protest. What, how, what is going on, on these college campuses, with all this, Mark Steyn?
MARK STEYN: Well, I think we're actually seeing the rise of a kind of incipient baby fascism, and I don't use that term lightly. I mean, the ruddy glow of middle age is still on my face, I'm reasonably confident that I can still outrun some of these mobs if I have to. But in 20 years' time, I won't be able to. And I'm concerned. If you look at the scenes from the University of Missouri where the so-called, actually a journalism professor is calling for some muscle to kick out the journalists, or the scene from Yale where they're standing around and intimidating the professor they disagree with, we have basically raised a generation now that prioritizes identity group politics over free speech. And that is going to be a tragedy for the world. I mean, this nonsense you just mentioned from Claremont is presumably over some 'cultural appropriation' thing - that it's racist for these two young ladies to put on sombreros and fake mustaches. Whereas if they'd said they were transitioning into men, then it would be okay to go around in fake mustaches. And if they were transitioning into becoming Hispanic men, then it would be okay, presumably, to wear the sombrero. So the internal contradictions of these identity group politics - where it's okay for Caitlyn Jenner to be culturally appropriating by getting out Grace Kelly's 1954 corset and posing in it on the front of Vanity Fair - that cultural appropriation, gender appropriation is okay. But if you put a sombrero on your head, it's the biggest crime of all.
This is what we're going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us, and we will be the laughing stock of global civilization, because even in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, they weren't wasting their time with this. But it's a serious business. It says nothing good about where the country's going to. And it's interesting that almost anyone who mentions these evasive, ugly phrases like 'safe space' is in fact a totalitarian bully. I mean, the people who need the safe space are the journalists being harassed at the University of Missouri and the professors they're trying to force out at Yale. These are the guys who would benefit from a safe space. And it's the people saying 'oh, we must have a little safe space' who are the totalitarians here.
Here's the student life at Yale these days. These guys in the video are demanding the resignation of Master of Silliman College, Professor Nicholas Christakis, not because of anything he did or anything he said, but because of something his wife said about the flap over "culturally insensitive" Halloween costumes. Here's Mrs Christakis' career-destroying email:
American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.
Outrageous! A guy with a lippy broad like that for his missus has to go:
Key exchange between the Master and a Safe-Space Fascist:
"In your position as master," one student says, "it is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students who live in Silliman. You have not done that. By sending out that email, that goes against your position as master. Do you understand that?!"
"No," he said, "I don't agree with that."
The student explodes, "Then why the fuck did you accept the position?! Who the fuck hired you?! You should step down! If that is what you think about being a master you should step down! It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! Do you understand that?"
This is Yale's "intellectual space" in the 21st century. As I said to John Campbell:
MS: This is one of the consequences when you use 'university' and pervert the meaning of that word. The word university does not mean in the United States and most other modern Western countries what it has meant for most of human history. It has been massively expanded. I'm not even just talking about affirmative action or anything like that, because there's large numbers of ordinary white people who shouldn't be at universities, either. It's been expanded beyond the capacity of it to do so and still be a university. So it's not about teaching, it's not about mastering genuine scholarly disciplines. It's become basically a kind of desultory 28th grade for a lethargic and narcissistic generation... I would support any presidential candidate who pledged to reduce the number of American university students by 90%, because that's the big problem here.
The polytechnic left has seized the academy to rear monsters. They are not yet as depraved as the head-hackers of ISIS: For now, they destroy their fellow "liberals" on the faculty only in terms of career and psychological health. But look at the scenes of campus life this week and ask yourself what it would take for the safe-space fascists to move to the next level.