Through official mandatory policies, universities have transformed academic culture from a quest to discover truth about the world and its beings, to the indoctrination of identity politics and enforcement of “social justice” policies.
In practice, this means the adoption of identity ideology to the exclusion and suppression of other views. An elaborate bureaucracy of “diversity and inclusion” officers are charged with policing thought, speech, and action.
Activists, and those who support them, encourage active hate against their alleged oppressors: males, whites, Christians and Jews, heterosexuals, and cis-normal individuals. How do we know this? Three ways: First, the vehement rejection of any criticism of or counter-argument to their neo-sexist/racist/bigoted ideological positions, and complete unwillingness to entertain any alternative position to their narratives. Second, the immediate use of the most hateful rhetoric imaginable to designate anyone challenging their position. Third, their immediate and unrestrained demands that the challenger be severely punished and preferably destroyed. Let us take these in order.
In response to any opinion contrary to their own, these activists do not offer counterarguments and contrary evidence. They do not claim that the facts are wrong or the position is untrue. No, they reject the opinion on identity grounds, saying that the challenge denies their existence as people, and that it makes them feel unsafe. Or just that it denies the truth of their sacred narrative, and that the complainant is therefore a heretic, any of whose words must be rejected.
The immediate result was that CERN suspended Strumia, saying “everyone is welcome regardless of beliefs,” but investigated whether he had broken internal rules, which include “obligation to exercise reserve and tact” and “reserve in expressing personal opinions.” CERN also erased Strumia’s data slides, audio, and video. While much comment was supportive, some politicians demanded that Strumia be fired, and some newspapers called Strumia “sexist” for mentioning differences in the interests of women and men. Activists continue to discuss on social media how to get Strumia fired. A group of mostly American physicists started “Particles for Justice” to attack Strumia, claiming not only that he had attacked women in physics, but was “belittling the ability and legitimacy of scientists of color,” although Strumia had not spoken about race.
While criticizing my publications, at no point did these student critics claim that my assertions are untrue, nor did they make counterarguments or present contradictory evidence. In other words, the student critics made no academic response; rather, they began with an ideological position that they regarded as inviolate, and moved to crush anyone who disagrees. And so they moved on to the third phase, cancellation, in which they “demand the removal of Professor Philip Carl Salzman’s Emeritus status. To ensure lasting change we, furthermore, demand an immediate, transparent, and student-centred overhaul of McGill’s Statement of Academic Freedom, enshrining the University’s commitment to inclusivity in teaching and research in policy.”
The response on campus to this identity-fueled mob hate and its manifestation in attacks, condemnations, and cancellations is fear. Students fear bad grades if they do not repeat identity politics talking points, and they fear social isolation if they are attacked as enemies of “social justice.” Professors fear both students and administrators, especially the “diversity and inclusion” officials whose job it is to weed out dissenters for re-education, punishment, and exile.
Many professors who have been under fire for not bowing to the “truths” of identity politics, such as Alessandro Strumia, report that some colleagues express support in private, but are afraid to go public. Anonymous supporting articles and letters reflect the fear of repercussions. The officially touted “diversity” systematically excludes diversity of opinion, and everyone on campus knows it. The great majority, fearing for their careers, jobs, and futures, stay silent. One tenured associate of mine refused to sign a letter in support of academic freedom, on the grounds that I had signed it, and he wanted to avoid being seen as supporting me against the student attacks.
How far our colleges and universities have come! From open fellowships of research inquiry and intellectual exchange, they have become seminaries of true believers and doctrine enforcers. Identity politics has divided students, professors, and administrators into warring sexes, races, sexualities, genders, ethnicities, and ablenesses, and mandated hate between them. Admission and success, once based on academic achievement, merit, and potential, is now based on one’s sex, race, sexuality, etc., and one’s devotion to the identity politics “social justice” narrative. We have regressed from Enlightenment openness back to a Medieval religious order.