(Washington Times) Carol Swain is not your typical conservative activist. She is not an old white guy. She is a black woman, who is a professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
She is also a passionate conservative, fighting for liberty every chance she gets.
In January, she wrote an opinion column in the local newspaper, The Tennessean, titled, “Charlie Hebdo attacks prove critics were right about Islam.”
The liberal establishment went into high dudgeon immediately. A rally was scheduled on the tree-lined Vanderbilt campus. Professor Swain pointed out the obvious truth. Islam is filled with people who are intolerant of any other belief and believe that violence is the appropriate solution for anyone who dares to speak against Islam.
Students at the protest demanded that Vanderbilt condemn Professor Swain’s comments. They demanded that Vanderbilt declare the campus free of “intolerance and hate” against its students.
Translation from liberal speak: No conservative speech is to be allowed at Vanderbilt.
The Vanderbilt administration immediately suited up in their onesie pajamas and released a statement. Vanderbilt’s Dean of Students, Mark Bandas, sent the letter to the entire student body.
That letter said, “we in no way condone or support the views stated in the op-ed and we understand they are deeply offensive to many members of our community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.”
Instead of offering a full-throated defense of free speech, the administration went into full touchy-feely mode, giving the numbers for a plethora of campus offices, including psychological counseling.
If these poor liberal students can’t handle a dissenting opinion without going into full mental meltdown while they are on campus, what are they going to do when they hit the real world?
Of course, Vanderbilt could not acknowledge that many students at Vanderbilt agree with Professor Swain.
Vanderbilt has a long and storied history of imposing liberal political correctness. As recently as 2012, Vanderbilt imposed a rule that required all student groups, including religious groups, to accept anyone who wanted to join the group and allow them to run for election as group officers. The purpose of this policy was to allow homosexual students to be allowed to become a part of evangelical Christian groups, which had specific bylaws that said members must be practicing Christians. These groups refused to go along with this and several of them lost their school affiliations.
The left-wing students at Vanderbilt who, interestingly enough did not demonstrate in 2012 to support the Christian groups, do not simply want to offer an alternative opinion to Professor Swain. They want to silence her.
Professor Swain pointed this out when she said, “I feel no special obligation to engage in politically correct speech. I think it is unfortunate that hate speech has become whatever makes a non-Christian uncomfortable.”
Silencing opponents is a time-honored leftist tradition. Leftists do not want to debate issues because when issues are fully debated, leftists lose every time. Dissenting opinion from leftist orthodoxy cannot be just another opinion. It is “hate speech.”
Professor Swain is right about Islam. While there are voices in the Muslim world now speaking up against jihad and calling for reformation, a majority of the world’s Muslims either explicitly or tacitly support jihad.
But that truth cannot be told to the politically correct students at Vanderbilt.
By Judson Phillips. Originally published on January 19, 2015