Perhaps taking a page out of the playbook of the left-wing anarchists who populated the short-lived “nation” of Seattle’s “CHOP,” a group of college students have put together a list of demands for the leadership at the University of Pittsburgh to follow.
This radical list of prescriptions essentially mandates that the college transform itself into a social justice activist organization where the First Amendment is an afterthought.
As the Washington Free Beacon reported, “Black Pitt, a coalition of black student groups, is demanding that the university fire any employee dubbed ‘racist’ by a black-only student council and end employee speech immunity, a core principle of academic freedom and First Amendment protections for academics at public universities.”
The “black-only student council” proposed by the students, formally referred to as the People’s Voice Committee, would actually include African-American staff, faculty and alumni as well, according to Black Pitt’s list of demands.
The fact that a black-only council would even be considered in the first place illustrates just how regressive the far left has become. In a letter dated June 18, the student activists outlined an “action plan” designed to address “the University’s failures at combating racism on campus, in the classroom, and amongst students.”
In addition to demanding that the university “transform the mission of the focus of our academic curriculum to be inclusive and comprehensive regarding the plight and triumphs of Black people,” the letter urges officials to “terminate the employment of racist and/or discriminatory employees on campus.”
According to the letter, “Students should be allowed to submit formal complaints when they experience racial bias by University of Pittsburgh faculty and staff.”
The letter calls for “faculty and staff with one (1) incident or complaint of racial bias, excessive force, or unlawful arrest/detainment” to be immediately “terminated and banned” from campus if found at fault.
Furthermore, “during the time of the investigation, the faculty/staff should be disclosed by name and banned from the University campus until its completion.”
In other words, even if a professor or staff member is found innocent of charges of racism, his or her reputation will have already been irredeemably dragged through the gutter. So much for the idea of innocent until proven guilty.
The list of demands clearly runs afoul of the First Amendment, according to Katlyn Patton, spokeswoman for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
“As a public institution, the University of Pittsburgh is bound by the First Amendment in its decisions concerning when to discipline a professor,” Patton told the Free Beacon.
“While these students are free to express their concerns and propose ideas, Pitt, like any public college or university, must consider the protections afforded to professors by the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom in evaluating allegations of racial bias based on speech.”
The far-left student activists also called on the University of Pittsburgh to “create a space … on campus solely for Black students to congregate.” Sadly, this troubling phenomenon of demands for segregation is hardly a new development.
As black economist Walter Williams explained in a 2018 Op-Ed for The Western Journal, “Harvard University, Yale University, UCLA, and many other universities, including George Mason, have black graduation ceremonies” while “Cal State Los Angeles, the University of Connecticut, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley, among others, offer racially segregated housing for black students.”
This latest development at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the atmosphere in academia in general, makes it seem like actor Terry Crews had it right when he warned on Twitter that “if both Black and Whites don’t continue to work together — bad attitudes and resentments can create a dangerous self-righteousness.”
The brains behind the list of demands definitely have all three of those things, but their far-left demands didn’t pop up out of nowhere.
As Spencer Brown, spokesman for Young America’s Foundation, told the Washington Examiner when discussing the results of a survey measuring the patriotism of high school and college students, “It’s clear that leftist orthodoxy has a comfy home in higher education.”
July 4th poll: College spoils patriotism in high schoolers. @itsSpencerBrown of @yaf ‘Leftist orthodoxy has a comfy home in higher ed. Biased or incomplete lessons on America’s history go unchallenged because conservative ideas are not welcomed.’ https://t.co/MWZ8ZUkejy pic.twitter.com/rGKijwt4p5
— Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) July 1, 2020
The student groups at the University of Pittsburgh calling for extreme changes have taken this “leftist orthodoxy” to the extreme. It should scare Americans that someday, the students responsible for crafting this long and unconstitutional list of demands will be in charge.
If these regressive leftists still hold those toxic views when they obtain power in society, then America is headed for a constitutional crisis, where the First Amendment and other inherently American values are overruled by the desire to create a liberal utopia that is actually a dystopian nightmare.
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