There is a conversation Black faculty often have with Black students that we rarely mention in public, let alone in mixed company. The tone of this exchange differs to some extent if the student are U.S. born or from the diaspora. It follows discussions that open their consciousness as they grapple with accepting an inescapable truth -- they are Black.
This trend of catastrophization is so dangerous -- instead of spreading awareness of racial, gender and economic inequality, it shifts the focus toward policing speech and shaming perceived transgressors. As liberals, we need to remember is that this behavior violates two fundamental assumptions of our ideology.
The intertwined issues of free speech and a lack of diversity in the newspaper have sparked a contentious debate throughout the campus, and the saga has attracted national attention. Wesleyan's president, provost and vice president for equity and inclusion released a statement that said students have the right to voice their own opinions -- "but there is no right not to be offended ... Censorship diminishes true diversity of thinking." But activists maintain that the issue is one of diversity, not of censorship.