When I first began college, I was excited and ready about to learn different perspectives. I began as a journalism major, but I decided to take a hiatus from school and change my major. I eventually went back to receive a degree in social work and, when I went into Temple’s School of Social Work, my politics leaned more to the left. I was raised in a conservative environment, but all of my professors made it seem as if it was impossible to be a social worker with conservative values.
Fast forward to the fall semester of my Junior year in 2015. The University decided to make Institutional Racism a necessary requirement for all social work majors. I was really intrigued by this course and the premise around it because I believed that there had to be systematic racism in America. I thought that I had to have white, “cisgender” male privilege. However, it was in this course that I really began to question my own political beliefs.
Near the end of the course, I saw a video on YouTube that a friend had posted from Ben Shapiro debunking the myth of white privilege. After that, I began to read and listen to Ben Shapiro frequently, as well as other conservatives’ works on hot-button topics such as white privilege and institutional racism. This renewed exposure to conservative values truly changed my thinking.
I quickly changed from a liberal to a conservative because I am currently over thirty thousand dollars in student loan debt and living with my parents. I asked myself, “Where had my ‘white privilege’ gone?”
By the end of the course, the material did not unify the class. I felt as if my peers were all looking down on me for being a straight white male during my final presentation. I don’t blame them for the material the professor taught, but, throughout the course, straight white males were vilified and blamed for most societal issues today.
Now, over a year later, I have rediscovered my conservative roots. I was not the only one who underwent this transformation, but the country and Temple’s School of Social Work made a transformation of their own. The day after the election, you could hear a pin drop in every one of my classes within the School of Social Work. There were extra counselors brought in to console students and every professor gave any student who did not show up that week full credit for assignments and attendance, simply because Donald J. Trump won the election.
Two weeks later, I received notice that there would be a mandatory meeting for Temple University Social Work Seniors on how to “create a plan” with an “authoritarian” Donald J. Trump leading the free world. I was not surprised to find the panel was an absolute joke. I sat there in silence and saw grown men and women cry as they talked about the future of social work in “Trump’s America.” The grown men and women I’m talking about are not just the students but actually mostly the professors leading the panel as they held back their tears.
Now it’s March 15, 2017. I thought by now things on campus would have calmed down a little. Trump has been in office 55 days and has not really done anything that has affected my field at all. Everything has been business as usual since President Trump was sworn in. However, if you listen to my professor, Trump has had the same effect as Hitler. Some people think that he literally is Hitler.
The most recent scare tactic that the department developed is an emergency panel in connection with Columbia University. Columbia will be holding panels on “Social Work in The Trump Administration” on two separate dates. All of my professors have almost the entire senior class indoctrinated with attaining the highest status of victimhood and now they are offering extra credit if you attend these panels.
I obviously will not be attending any of these panels. I am uninterested in extra credit that comes in this form. I currently have a 3.7 GPA, but it would not surprise me in the least if my GPA dips after coming out as conservative. It’s similar to having leprosy to my peers.
I’m writing this for the silent students on extremely left-wing campuses. This is America, and, especially in academia, there should be civil discussions with people who have opposing views. College should be a time where all ideologies are taught and the pupil should be able to draw their own conclusions without fear of reprisals.
And to everyone: Find someone that you may not agree with, be it a liberal or conservative, and have a discussion with them.You may find more common ground than you think.
Photo Credit: Muns