A sentence, or merely a phrase or word out of place, even in private conversation or correspondence, or by accident or in jest, is sufficient to provide the cherished “gotcha” moment (the “snitch”, as the Americans call it) for the gimlet-eyed, ideologically-driven campus Thought Police to set about destroying an academic’s career and life on the pretext that they are protecting students from danger.
Tom Welsh, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, succinctly summarised how this sordid process works:
By now, the technique should be grimly familiar. Someone sees something they dislike and decides that it is offensive, preferably to a fashionable minority group.
An edited version of the incident is put on social media, taken out of context in order to make the “culprit” — safest if it’s a member of an unfashionable “privileged” group — look as terrible as possible. A few people ask whether this is a fair reflection of reality, whether the vitriol is deserved. It hardly matters.
The intimidation has begun, the individual has been named, his reputation is in tatters … Most victims of this unjust process give in … whatever the truth of the matter, better a quiet life than fight the many-headed monster of social justice web warriors, ultra-liberal academics and their allies in the media. The effect is censorship by fear. A bullying Left doesn’t need to change any minds, just make it too toxic for anyone to disagree with them.
That this procedure, now pervasive in Western societies at large, should be at its worst in universities, is what should be deeply disturbing to anybody who retains any belief that freedom of thought and expression are worth preserving and protecting in our society. …
Hardly a day goes by without the report of another grotesque self-annihilation of an academic discipline in the context of woke virtue-signalling. Ivy-league Princeton, no less, is banning the study of Latin and Greek, the core subjects in its Classics classes, because — as one of the associate professors of Classics there, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, contends — ancient Greek and Roman cultures have been encouraging slavery, colonialism and white supremacy for 2000 years. Therefore, writings in Latin and Ancient Greek should be abandoned.
Leftists only hire other leftists — ideology and mutual back scratching uber alles. So once an institution is dominated by the left, it cannot be saved, only burned to the ground.