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Honestly I hope mainstream publications will continue to blacklist and conservatives

I want to exploit…
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april 2018 by acdlite
We’re all special snowflakes now
The choice of “snowflake” to describe student activists is particularly interesting. Back in the 70s and 80s, the student activists and leaders were branded as aggressive thugs. But the rise of women and LGBT+ students involved in student activism and students’ unions – along with LM’s hatred of “PC” and its obsession with white, working-class men meant a new frame was necessary.

Women? LGBT+? This generation can’t be strong thugs – they must fit the gender and sexuality tropes necessary. They’re weak. They’re emotional. They’re hysterical. Their “mental health problems” are always in parentheses. Their weakness leads to “trigger warnings”, and their “intolerance” leads to “no-platforming”.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Given the geopolitical factors, it’s not a particular surprise that the clock still hasn’t moved on.
¶¶
I’ve worked with student activists and leaders and sabbatical officers for over 20 years – in small colleges and large universities, in institutions, SUs and NUS. The truth is, I’ve barely ever met a single one with a real desire to censor ideas or stifle debate, or police speech. It’s more desperation to avoid hurting other people’s feelings by displaying inadvertent prejudice, and real bravery and determination to tackle the world around them.
¶¶
But day to day, most student activists and leaders embody neither of the clichés. They’re just plain old assertive. They challenge authority. They point out elephants in the room and raise uncomfortable things at uncomfortable times in uncomfortable ways. They do appear in prospectus photos, and they do go on protests, but they also present evidence and make arguments and provoke the powerful. They tackle each other’s behaviour. And they’re genuinely brave. Almost uniquely in the UK, we have built a powerful set of organisations and processes and people within our HE sector capable of delivering more local accountability and transparency within a university than the Office for Students will likely ever achieve – and we should be proud of it.
¶¶
There is no freedom of speech problem in UK universities. But there is an endless, coordinated campaign of tropey stories where the facts are secondary to the frame — a runaway train that left the Spiked station some time ago but is now firmly out of control. There’s a ministerial crackdown, and a concerned regulator and a cross-party enquiry.
by:JimDickinson  from:WonkHE  NoPlatform  FreedomOfSpeech  StudentPolitics  students  education  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics 
february 2018 by owenblacker

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