When you read about a speaker getting shouted down – or a campus newspaper getting confiscated – the censors are almost always on the Left. The latest example occurred earlier this month at Claremont-McKenna College, outside of Los Angeles, where students prevented conservative author Heather Mac Donald from giving a public address about her new book, The War on Cops. (Mac Donald delivered her remarks via livestream video, instead.)
How did two ideas that used to run in tandem – free speech and racial diversity – get pit against each other? Part of the answer lies in the remarkable growth of diversity itself. Between 1976 and 2012, the number of African American college students in the United States tripled. And women now receive 57 percent of undergraduate degrees, nearly double their proportion of 50 years ago.
Over the same span, more and more students reported mental-health problems. That reflected a new and welcome awareness of psychological illness, which lost some of its longstanding stigma.