News & Politics

Study Finds College Rioters Have Wealthier Parents Than Average Student

A bonfire set by demonstrators protesting a scheduled speaking appearance by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos burns on Sproul Plaza on the University of California at Berkeley campus on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. The event was canceled out of safety concerns after protesters hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and started a bonfire. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

College campuses might be the worst places to learn these days. If you want to be exposed to ideas different than the ones about “white privilege” shoved down your throat your entire life, don’t go to the places where that kind of thing causes threats and riots.

And definitely don’t expect to learn anything from kids too brainwashed to know they’re protesting against themselves:

Middlebury is not an isolated incident. A study from the nonpartisan Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found that the number of reported disinvitations and demands that speakers be disinvited has skyrocketed in recent years — from six in 2000 to 43 in 2016.

Those who predominantly engage in such violent protests generally fit an identifiable demographic profile, according to the study by the Brookings Institute’s Center on Children and Families. The analysis found that it is predominantly upscale students from liberal institutions who are demonstrating illiberal values by protesting, and at times rioting, to force their schools to disinvite or cancel events featuring conservative thinkers.

Since 2014, at the 90 or so colleges that have tried to disinvite conservatives from speaking, the average student comes from a family with an annual income $32,000 higher than that of the overall average student in America, the Brookings study found.

“It seems likely that many of the students most offended by the likes of Charles Murray come from the wealthiest families and attend the most expensive universities in the country,” wrote Richard V. Reeves, a senior fellow  of economic studies at Brookings. “After all, when Murray spoke at Saint Louis University, where the median income of students’ families is half Middlebury’s, he was received respectfully, with some silent, peaceful protests.”

Fascinating.

Or not really. Wealthier children tend to be the ones least likely to hear the word “no” while they grow up. This becomes a sense of entitlement, an idea that the world must conform to them rather than the other way around.

Many have likened the rioters to overgrown children throwing tantrums, suffering from arrested development. While most of us were raised to reject a sense of entitlement, many of these kids never got that lesson. They really are spoiled kids reaching adulthood without the necessary coping skills.

Disagreement is fine. Peacefully protesting a speaker you dislike is fine. Listening and asking challenging questions is the mature, reasonable way to express disagreement. As is simply accepting that not everyone agrees with you.

Rioting and throwing a tantrum, however, is not, and it’s likely to get you thrown in jail now that you’re no longer a minor.

Too bad these children never learned that growing up, but there’s no more excuses once you’re of age.