Reflections and Regret


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Editor’s note: Sai Safman is this contributor’s pen name

My name is Sai, and as I grow into adulthood I wanted to reflect on how college helped mold my approach to politics today. I wouldn’t consider myself as much of a conservative per se, but more of a leftist refugee. The ravenous appetite for “progress” no matter the implication, cost, or reasoning means people who were once part of that progress are left behind, awakening to find their campsite deserted and scorched as the pioneers continue down the trail. The march to progress stops for no one; either you get on the wagon when it leaves, or it’ll be happy to leave you behind. There’s no time for discussing the reasons why; we must make progress for progress’ sake.  

I attended Mount Holyoke College, the very same that my fellow upperclassmen Kassy Dillon and Annabella Rockwell graduated from. I can attest to their shared experiences and then some. Kassy’s story is particularly poignant to me, as I was attending MHC when her bullying and abuse was happening. I remember seeing people spitting at her from behind, I heard the rumors of people casually slipping horrific death threats under her door. I remember hearing the blood-curdling things people would say they would do if they had her alone, the vitriol with which they would speak about another human life. I remember the videos of her being booed on the stage as she received her diploma. I am ashamed to admit at the time I thought it was perfectly acceptable for people to do so. I even participated in the behind-the-back name-calling and rumor-spreading. As I’ve grown, I’ve come to terms with the errors in my thinking and made up my mind to send an apology to Kassy, who, with all of her grace, kindly accepted. I could never imagine such forgiveness from my leftist friends, who surely will never forgive me for writing this article. 

This college is no stranger to controversies; in the recent past, students were doxxed by the now defunct website TurtleBoy Sports for arranging a protest to a police graduation that would take place on campus. I will note that Aiden Kearney, the 40-year old former teacher accused of lewd behavior who ran the site, should have known better than to give out the addresses of young women to a rightfully angry mob. As a former student, I know this issue to be a failure on the school’s part as well, as they knew months in advance that the graduation would be taking place next to a BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) dormitory and told them only a few weeks in advance, almost as if they wanted to incite riots. Funnily enough, many of the students in that dorm didn’t take issue with the graduation, but rather were furious with the dirt cloud that the virtue-signaling white activists had kicked into their collective faces. “I don’t mind it at all, most of my family are in the police force or military,” I recall a friend of mine telling me at the time. Ultimately, the plan to protest fell flat when cars and trucks bearing the American flag started making the rounds on the open campus. The protests only amounted to posters pressed up against dorm windows that only people walking a certain distance from the green could see. 

I was deeply engrossed in student life there, and was involved in many student organizations and programs. I am also an interracial intersex woman, and part of the LGBT+ community. I recall the first week my student class was on campus. We were made to attend lectures and activities organized by the school as part of our orientation for the first week. This wouldn’t have bothered me as I am a member of the LGBT community. People should know what they’re walking into, right? Suffice it to say, I didn’t even know what I was walking into. These lectures spanned multiple hours and multiple days, and introduced terms I still have no idea how to wrap my head around (what is a nonbinary transmasc lesbian?). There, I was also introduced to the concept of neopronouns, checking your privilege, making space for others in discussion, and respecting LGBT+ BIPOC only spaces. The message was simple; imbue yourself with guilt for perceived privileges beyond your control and silence yourself so people who are higher up than you in the oppression totem pole can have the whole floor. Looking back, I realize this was indoctrination at its most fundamental level. From that point on, we were no longer questioning, only putting what they had “taught” us to use.

I believe now that the progressive movement is like a holy crusade; we feel welcome to pillage and plunder the minds and opinions of others until they submit and are silenced because we are doing it for a just cause. We feel justified to enact every tactic and insult that, had they been aimed at us, would immediately be taken at discrimination and bigotry. Once we are not surrounded by others constantly checking us into place, we realize that we can have civil conversations with people who disagree with us. This is why so often students will lean conservative only after they have left college. For those brave enough to be open about their opposing politics on these campuses, I applaud you. Please don’t let the experience scare you. There are leftists who will hear you out and respect you for who you are. Don’t let the world close your shell for you. 

To leftists reading this, obviously incensed by what I have just written, I have a few questions. Answer these honestly and internally, where no one can judge you: when have you ever taken a conservative argument in good faith? How often do you reevaluate and check your contempt for not just the politics, but the people? How often have you tried to challenge your own opinions and ideas with someone who disagrees with you? How often do you genuinely try to put yourself in others’ shoes? Do you really believe all conservative BIPOC are upholding white supremacy? Have you talked to one? Would you cut off the people who love you the most in the world because of a disagreement? Do you think you take differing opinions too close to heart because you’ve been told to make that ideology everything you are, so an attack on ideas becomes an attack on you? No one says you have to agree, but to silence others is an intellectual crime, and you are the victim. Fortify yourself, and have discussions with family and friends about things you don’t want to talk about or maybe just don’t get to. Question your reality. Question your truth.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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