Mark Mercer is Professor of Philosophy, President of Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship, and a public intellectual.
It has become almost indisputable that the typical humanities university student of today has become incapable of tolerating ideas and opinions that are contrary to theirs. Any dissenting idea is viewed as a threat of harm and is responded to accordingly; whether it involves blasting air horns and screaming expletives at professors, spitting on guest speakers, or preventing a planned event from taking place using commercial-grade fireworks and Molotov cocktails, ideologically-driven student groups are determined to use any means necessary to shut down the vocalization of views they deem offensive.
The present era of reactionary institutional responses to violations of political correctness is exposing the fact that “academic freedom”, of both professors and students, does not really mean much, except what it has always meant.
During the summer of 2017, the University of Victoria (UVic) in British Columbia invited applications for a tenure-track position in "the area of social psychology." The advertisement sounded like a great opportunity for freshly minted scholars who wanted to find an institution they could call home--at least until someone offers them a bigger home. However, there was a catch.
Post-modernism has infected many a mind. It parades itself as humble, kind, and empathetic in discourse. It tells us that there is no right or wrong; that nothing is black and white; that thinking there's objective truth only hampers social progress and progressive thought. And since saying that someone is wrong is offensive, we should not say that.