White privilege. It’s everywhere, I tell you. You can’t escape its smothering influence — even at one of the finest (and most expensive) schools in the land.
Take the case of this poor, wilting flower. Nissy Aya is now in her fifth year of undergraduate study at Columbia University. She was supposed to graduate last year with the rest of her class, but finds herself — totally not her fault — on track to graduate next year.
Ms. Aya says that she has experienced much angst and anguish while taking Columbia’s Core courses, studying the greatest, the most powerful, the most tolerant civilization in the history of the human race — Western civilization. It seems that Ms. Aya has feelings of inadequacy when reading all these books by dead white males.
Aya attributed some of her academic troubles to the trauma of having to take Columbia’s current Core Curriculum, which requires students to take a series of six classes with a focus on the culture and history of Western, European civilization. Aya says this focus on the West was highly mentally stressful for her.
“It’s traumatizing to sit in Core classes,” she said. “We are looking at history through the lens of these powerful, white men. I have no power or agency as a black woman, so where do I fit in?”
As an example, Aya cited her art class, where she complained that Congolese artwork was repeatedly characterized as “primitive.” She wanted to object to that characterization but, in the Spectator’s words, was “tired of already having worked that day to address so many other instances of racism and discrimination.”
Roosevelt Montás, Columbia’s associate dean for the Core Curriculum, didn’t exactly offer a spirited defense, instead saying Aya was showing the troubling racism that may lurk inside the Core.
“You cannot grow up in a society without assimilating racist views,” he said, according to the Spectator. “Part of what is exciting about this conversation is that it’s issuing accountability for us to look within ourselves and try to understand the way that racism shapes how we see the world and our institutions.”
This isn’t the first time students have complained about the mental anguish of studying the Western canon. Last spring, four students published an editorial for the Spectator complaining that a student was triggered by having to read Ovid, and proposed replacing his offensive works with those of Toni Morrison.
When Toni Morrison’s work lasts 2,000 years, they can sub out Ovid for her.
Getting mad at the little whelp doesn’t do any good. She is now in her “safe space” where, as Jonah Goldberg writes in his newsletter this morning, she is free to play with her “conceptual” toys:
The campus Huns pillaging higher education these days only want to talk about “white privilege” — unimpeded by debate, facts, reality, or anything smacking of an opposing point of view — because it is psychologically comfortable and politically empowering. Contemplating that your problems don’t have all that much to do with systemic bigotry is discomfiting. So they want safe spaces to play with their conceptual Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys.
This is why so many liberals are far, far, far more comfortable calling tea-partiers “terrorists” than they are talking about actual, you know, terrorists. This is why in the wake of the Paris attacks we hear so much about “Christian terrorism” and why so many lefties have raced to arguments about gun control. That is why the supposedly smartest argument among the supposedly smart set these days is to build a time machine and stop Bush from invading Iraq.
The hysterically exaggerated hypersensitivity to anything — anything — that can vaguely be construed (or dishonestly promoted) as racist or “proving” white privilege is making a mockery of the term “higher” education. It’s as if the Visigoths are sacking Rome all over again. Intellectually raping and pillaging across campus, they have normal students terrified and the grown men and women who are running the school groveling in the dust.
Momma, don’t let your baby grow up to be a college student.