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Political Correctness Used Against Liberals

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If you want to see how political correctness can even be used to destroy a fellow liberal professor, just look at what happened to Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis. Her essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education led to a university investigation of her in what she has described as “My Title IX Inquisition.”

Rich Lowry believes it is a good example of PC liberals devouring their own. Her alleged “crime” was to write about “sexual paranoia” on college campuses. She teaches film-making but found some of her students could not watch the assigned films because they “triggered” something for them. In her essay, we also lamented the new “sexual panic rules” and new speech codes that are what she called “a striking abridgment of everyone’s freedom” and are “intellectually embarrassing.”

She is right, of course. But the liberals on any university could not have a fellow progressive say as much. Conservatives realized long ago to keep their head down on campus. But the illiberalism of the left was turned on a fellow liberal. The university eventually cleared Kipnis of the charges, but the process was the punishment. I doubt she (or any other professor) will write about triggers or sexual paranoia any time in the future.

David French believed that might be a turning point. He points out that: “Feminists from Jezebel to The Nation have expressed concern about Kipnis’s treatment.” One would hope so. Campus intolerance and academic investigations seem to be increasing. Charles Cooke, on the other hand, disagrees. He believes that political correctness is merely in the process of “mutating into a form that is less obviously damaging to progressive interests.”

Let me also add that political correctness in higher education doesn’t just stay on college campuses. These political correct ideas become the basis for future government policies about speech and corporate rules about what constitutes a hostile work environment. That’s why we should be concerned about what happened to Laura Kipnis.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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