Instapundit reports that students at Berkeley wanted Marx and Foucault dropped from a syllabus because they were white men and there were no women or people of color included (here). Also, that the Vagina Monologues won’t be performed at Southwestern University in Texas because it was written by a white woman. Ha, ha, ha. Will white leftists rise up and demand that these demands be ignored? I don’t think so.
I’ve often thought that if all possible leftist causes, not all leftist causes currently on the agenda but all possible leftist causes, were brought out and pushed for equally, a lot of people who are now leftists would shy away and start defending their privileges. Consider, for example, that annoying white woman shouting that people like me are surrounded by our white male privilege. It’s a good bet that she herself comes from a wealthier background than I do, and if so, then she would lose a lot in any genuine redistribution. Expect her to start whining that economic privilege isn’t that important or that as an oppressed woman she should be allowed to keep her wealth. And in today’s leftist milieu, it would probably be accepted. But my point is to imagine a different milieu, one where class differences were raised in importance (just as they used to be). For that matter, what if blacks in Africa started complaining that blacks in America have it good and that they should just shut up about their supposed oppression? Why shouldn’t African blacks get a say in our syllabi? One could just as well imagine that not only would Marx and Foucault be dropped, but all American blacks of recent years would be dropped as well in favor of African blacks.
So, where does all this leave people like me? I’m referring to nerdy white guys from the lower or lower-middle class. I can’t imagine going to college these days. I look at the various announcements coming out of Kenyon College (where my wife teaches), and nothing has anything to do with guys like me. It’s all about women or people of color or some other aggrieved group, but class issues never make an appearance. Keith Burgess-Jackson the other day called campuses “oppressive” (here), and I generally feel the same way, unless I hang out with people in the sciences.