How do you defend student group s who physically endanger students exercising their verbal First Amendment rights? With a lot of double talk, a veritable word salad.
“That is, higher education stakeholders must widely contest the notion that colleges and universities are (and should be) ideologically neutral on social and political issues,” Charles H. F. Davis III, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, writes in Inside Higher Ed. “At minimum, we must continue to illuminate the ways in which colleges and universities have not only historically benefited from institutional forms of power (e.g., use of African slave labor and transacting black bodies for financial gain) but also still contribute to the social reproduction and exacerbation of issues such as class stratification, sexism and rape culture, and, yes, the proliferation of white supremacist worldviews.”
“In doing so, higher education scholars as well as faculty members, administrators and students expose the clear discontinuity between the values many colleges and universities espouse and their institutional actions. Drawing attention to this reality, in this political moment, requires institutions to be accountable for answering the question of whether their neutrality, within a broader climate of injustice, squarely situates their historical legacy on the side of the oppressor rather than in solidarity with the oppressed.”
Davis is an associate professor of clinical education at the Rossiter School of Education at USC.