The recent non-controversy unfolding at Harvard is one of many lately that proves how divided we are as a country during these highly polarized times—especially on college campuses. Universities, the once-great bastion of free speech and freedom of thought, have succumbed to millennial culture: cancel culture, outrage culture, victim mentality, and virtue signaling.
Take a quick look at Campus Reform, where leftists shutting down opposing conservative speech can be found daily. For example, Campus Reform recently reported about a conservative group’s socialism display that vanished overnight at North Carolina University. In a time where opposing opinions are hurtful attacks that make millennials seek “safe spaces,” the false outrage coming out of Harvard is part and parcel of SJW culture.
Last month, the Harvard Crimson covered a rally hosted by Act on a Dream (“AOAD”), a student-led immigration organization that advocates on behalf of illegal immigrants. The rally called for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
What act did the newspaper commit that was so egregious that it caused a profound uproar that the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Post, and other prominent media outlets felt compelled to cover the story?
The article states, “ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.” This means the newspaper sought out ICE’s commentary about the rally.
The task of a journalist is to seek out the whole story. This is so one can effectively communicate what happened during a particular situation. Journalists seek information from people on both sides of the story.
However, this age-old tradition is one that Harvard’s privileged elite is fundamentally opposed to. Of course. Why on Earth would someone want to paint a full and complete picture of the events happening in our country?
This has led to the President of the newspaper, Kristine Guillaume, and Managing Editor, Angela Fu, address readers this week saying, “[They] stand behind that decision.” It is insane that they even had to address the non-issue, but that is what the polarization and political division in this country have brought us to.
AOAD is now petitioning the newspaper, demanding it:
1) Apologize for the harm they inflicted on the undocumented community;
2) Critically engage with and change their policies that require calling ICE for comment;
3) Declare their commitment to protecting undocumented students on campus.
(Emphasis added.) Moreover, AOAD makes a false equivalency by stating that, due to our highly polarized political atmosphere, “a request for comment is virtually the same as tipping [ICE] off….”
Where to begin.
First, it is difficult to ascertain whether the last statement is genuine because it is so obviously fallacious, it is hard to take seriously. In no way is a journalist requesting a comment about a situation akin to a civilian calling to report suspected illegal immigrants. It is unfortunate this needs to be explained to them, but the logic is not strong with AOAD—how about that Harvard education?
Second, it is extremely arrogant of AOAD to demand an apology and request that a newspaper change its journalistic procedures—especially when the sole justification being AOAD is “extremely disappointed” in the “cultural insensitivity” displayed by “reach[ing] out to ICE.”
That is, by definition, what an objective reporter is supposed to do. Being offended doesn’t make AOAD special, nor does it lend credence to its arguments.
Lastly, AOAD is explicitly asking the newspaper to aid in efforts to stifle federal law enforcement’s ability to enforce our immigration laws. Something that is illegal to do. I am sympathetic to DACA recipients and the fact Congress has abdicated its responsibility to fix the situation, but that is a different discussion.
Today, the culture elevates the subjective feeling of the individual over factual objective reality. Opposing viewpoints are “microaggressions” that are akin to assault. Leftists support free speech… that they approve of. And in such a culture, the ability to rationalize vanishes and breeds the irrational false outrages we see today.
It is a strong sign of how divided we are when Americans cannot let the other side get their word in. Not all ideas are worthy of merit, but that doesn’t mean certain ideas should be censored, especially not if we are truly a nation that cherishes free speech.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.