What’s oozing out of campuses is polluting society

What’s oozing out of campuses is polluting society. By Michael Barone.

Take the proliferation of campus speech codes. Americans of a certain age have trouble believing that college and universities have rules banning supposedly hurtful speech. They can remember when campuses were the part of America most open to dissent. Now, students are disciplined for handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a tiny isolated “free speech zone.” …

Campus administrators have famously declined to restrain or rebuke mobs of students who fancy themselves social justice warriors who press to block conservative speakers and attack them violently if they dare to appear. …

The campuses’ encouragement of identity politics is seeping — gushing — out into the wider society as well. Selective colleges and universities have long violated (and lied about violating) the civil rights laws with racial quotas and preferences in admissions. And they routinely encourage blatant segregation — separate dormitories and orientations for black students, for example.

This fosters the habit of treating individuals as, in Sullivan’s words, “representatives of designated groups” rather than as individuals. It assumes that everyone with a certain genetic ancestry or gender has the same views, and that no one who shares that characteristic can ever understand people outside his group — especially someone born with “white privilege” or into “the patriarchy.”