The cost of college education in the United States that’s producing a whole generation of ignoramuses is skyrocketing and the Board of Regents at the University of California have, first and foremost, intolerance on the brain.
The University of California is committed to protecting its bedrock values of respect, inclusion, and academic freedom. Free expression and the open exchange of ideas – principles enshrined in our national and state Constitutions – are part of the University’s fiber. So, too, is tolerance, and University of California students, faculty, and staff must respect the dignity of each person within the UC community.
Intolerance has no place at the University of California. We define intolerance as unwelcome conduct motivated by discrimination against, or hatred toward, other individuals or groups. It may take the form of acts of violence or intimidation, threats, harassment, hate speech, derogatory language reflecting stereotypes or prejudice, or inflammatory or derogatory use of culturally recognized symbols of hate, prejudice, or discrimination.
Just out of curiosity, what would the Cal regents do with a Baptist and a Catholic arguing over the use of the Septuagint Old Testament vs. the Massorah? Oh, wait, they don’t read the Bible? Yeah, never mind.
So anyway, the people who themselves are rather intolerant of anything other than their own view of the world are now telling the faculty and students that they must be intolerant of intolerance. Everyone’s perspective is to be welcome and respected. No debate that might make someone feel bad about themselves or their convictions. So much for the university being a place to explore divergent ideas and have free and open conversation.
So much for students’ and faculty first amendment rights as well. The Board of Regents at Cal are demonstrating their tolerance for regulating speech which is in and of itself intolerance. However, this new set of principles goes further than that. Eugene Volokh offers reflection on this in The Washington Post:
1. The policy specifically condemns the expression of particular viewpoints as “intolerant,” as having “no place at the University of California,” and a violation of others’ rights to be “free from … expressions of intolerance.” For instance, articulating a view that people with various intellectual disabilities are incapable of various intellectual tasks, or people with various physical disabilities are incapable of various physical tasks, would be condemned by the authority of the University. (“University leaders will take all appropriate steps to implement the principles.”)
So, being not quite five feet tall, it is not permissible for someone at Cal to offer to get a book for me off of a high shelf in the library? Well, gee, thanks a lot. And pointing out that abstract thought is not a great American virtue isn’t permitted, either…even if it is one of the base problems of our day. This is not Volokh’s only observation on this move by the board of regents, but to tear apart the entire list would cut into too many other things.
Ed Morrissey of HotAir has quite a bit more to say about it, but really, here we go again with reality imitating art. Ray Bradbury did not set out to publish guidelines on regulated speech. He meant Fahrenheit 451 as a warning of what happens when ideas are suppressed by force. And yet, it is happening before our eyes. At a university run on the public dime in California. You can’t make this stuff up.