Before author and columnist Star Parker spoke at Wichita State University earlier this week, attacks were already launched, providing illustration of the rampant political correctness and intolerance in effect on the modern college campus.
An editorial in the WSU Sunflower, the student newspaper, took issue with Parker’s visit to WSU. Not only was Ms. Parker herself attacked, but also Johnny Stevens, the Wichita businessman who had the idea to bring her to WSU and who paid the not inconsiderable expenses of the event.
Here’s an example of the overblown rhetoric at Wichita State University, as used in this editorial:
WSU College Democrats co-chair Katherine Paige contended, “It is ethically problematic to ask a group that believes in the value of public schools, helping the homeless and those in poverty and the separation of church and state to condone the wholesaling of our campus to conservative radicals such as Star Parker.”
A few points: First, the university rented some of its facilities to a private person for one evening. Contrast this with the taxpayer-funded use of the university every day to promote leftist political agendas.
Then, does this writer really believe the premise of her statement, that the public schools are doing a good job? That government really helps those in poverty? That it is “ethically problematic” to allow views other than those she agrees with to be expressed at a university?
If so, this is more evidence of the decline in critical thinking and civility at our universities.
The editorial also mentions “anti-government conservative propaganda,” presumably to be presented at Parker’s lecture. The implication of the writer is that the facilities of the university are to be used only for the glorification of government. Is no dissent allowed, even if the speaker pays for the privilege?
That is what’s really troubling about this editorial, if it is representative of WSU students today. Not willing to allow alternative views to be heard, they turn the idea of “liberalism” on its head. Instead of being tolerant, the writer of this editorial and the WSU College Democrats co-chair show themselves to be as close-minded, intolerant, and bigoted as they believe are the conservatives they hate.
Besides this, the editorial is wrong on two factual accounts. One relatively minor error is the report that Stevens “contacted the WSU Alumni Association with the hopes to bring Parker to the University.” Stevens said that this never happened.
A more important error is the claim that WSU student fees will be used to pay for some part of this event. Stevens assured me that he is paying for all expenses the university might incur. He donated money up front, and his instructions were that he would supply additional funds if necessary after all the bills were known so that no university funds would be spent.
Will the Sunflower publish a correction?