Protests have con$equence$

I read online that alumni of unnamed colleges where anti-Donald Trump protests have been taking place are withdrawing financial support of their alma maters.

I didn’t think much about that until I read the Washington Times:

The creator of “Dilbert” is ending all financial support for UC Berkeley in the wake of campus protests last week that turned violent.

The destruction of private property, fires, and the beating of a Donald Trump supporter prior to Feb. 1 event with Breitbart News‘ Milo Yiannopoulos has prompted cartoonist Scott Adams to recoil from UC Berkeley. Mr. Adams wrote on his blog that he would no longer feel safe traversing the campus where he obtained his MBA.

“I’m ending my support of UC Berkeley, where I got my MBA years ago,” Mr. Adams wrote Feb. 3. “I have been a big supporter lately, with both my time and money, but that ends today. I wish them well, but I wouldn’t feel safe or welcome on the campus. A Berkeley professor made that clear to me recently. He seems smart, so I’ll take his word for it.
“I’ve decided to side with the Jewish gay immigrant [Mr. Yiannopoulos], who has an African-American boyfriend, not the hypnotized zombie-boys in black masks who were clubbing people who hold different points of view,” he wrote. “I feel that’s reasonable, but I know many will disagree, and possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus.”

Mr. Adams, whose work appears in over 2,000 newspapers, said that critics of President Trump need to realize the “absurdity” of comparisons to Adolf Hitler.

“Yesterday I asked my most liberal, Trump-hating friend if he ever figured out why Republicans have most of the Governorships, a majority in Congress, the White House, and soon the Supreme Court,” Mr. Adams wrote. “He said, ‘There are no easy answers.’ I submit that there are easy answers. But for many Americans, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias hide those easy answers behind Hitler hallucinations.”

The “Dilbert” creator attracted widespread media attention during the 2016 election cycle by being one of the first commentators to predict Mr. Trump’s success in the Republican presidential primary.

You can just imagine the sweat in university alumni relations and development offices if Adams’ voting with his wallet becomes a trend. For one thing, given decreasing state support for higher education across the nation (no, Wisconsin is not alone), colleges without big endowments (that is, most of them) need donations from alumni and big-money donors. And if those donors want some input into what does and doesn’t get taught, or decide to give their input by withdrawing their support, well, rock (academic freedom and student free speech), meet (financial) hard place.

You may have noticed a lack of hue and cry both statewide and nationwide about cuts in higher education funding. That may be because a significant number of taxpayers who vote for Republicans in state elections aren’t happy with what their tax dollars are funding on the nearest public university campus. Those are people frankly not very sympathetic to the words “academic freedom,” or for that matter the word “diversity,” since the thing most absent from college campuses today seems to be intellectual diversity.

 

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