Coming from the party of “small government” and “free speech,” this is a blatant example of oppressive censorship. The bill will pull at least 10% of state government funding from any college that offers a class or hosts an event that:
- Is designed primarily for a particular ethnic group.
- Promotes division, resentment, or social justice toward a race, gender, or social class.
- Advocates solidarity based on ethnicity.
To avoid cries of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust is allowed to be discussed in all circumstances, as are genocides and past oppression of groups. However, nothing can be said about current oppression; no one will be allowed to even discuss its existence or the extent of it. Feminism is out, skin privilege is taboo, and marginalization of the poor is unmentionable. It is not clear whether it will even be permissible to discuss social justice issues currently occurring in other countries.
Conservatives have enjoyed ridiculing liberals for “fascist” safe spaces where marginalized groups can take a brief break from a hostile society. Thorpe is attacking the attempts of academics and students to help American citizens who are too often unfairly treated on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, alleging that these efforts marginalize, discriminate against, and silence white men.
Thorpe doesn’t seem to realize that he and his other old white friends are welcome to go sit in their own room with coloring books and soothing music if it would help them calm down and feel better about the “discrimination” they face. The other thing Thorpe should try recognizing is that as a well-to-do, educated white man the entire world is his safe space.
Thorpe and other conservatives claim that “political correctness” and the “liberal agenda” are silencing and censoring them. Now they are fighting back by instituting what can only be called fascist, government censorship. The scope of this bill is terrifyingly sweeping. It ultimately prevents any progressive agenda from being openly discussed among academics and students, along with any facts about marginalization that conservatives want to pretend doesn’t exists.
King calls out the total hypocrisy of Thorpe:
“For all of their talk about local rights, it’s deeply telling to see conservative lawmakers go so far as to say what individual dormitory directors and instructors can and cannot discuss with their students. Conservatives like Thorpe are fully willing to be control freaks when it protects white supremacy and cultural hegemony — then say they stand on the principles of local control when it benefits them.”
This is a sobering sign of what is to come with right wing extremists dominating every level of government across America. Throughout the Donald Trump presidential campaign women and minorities sounded the alarm bells about the imminent threat they face under a Republican administration. They were mocked, and now they are being proven right.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.