Joyce Carol Oates is an accomplished writer, adept at creating all kinds of fascinating and memorable characters. Since the invention of Twitter, JCO has become quite a character herself, styling herself online as a politico of sorts. Some of her opinions are just run-of-the-mill liberal-minded thoughts, but others are completely out of left field (pun intended) and even rank as ignorantly bizarre.

There was that time she accused me of hiding behind my “white privilege” for suggesting America would not suddenly cease to exist the day after we elected someone she hates.

 

But as of Wednesday afternoon that ranks as just her second most idiotic tweet. The prize-winning author was complaining about public universities being underfunded and suggested that conservative speakers who tour college campuses are purposefully forcing the schools to hire expensive security as a way to drain publicly funded education.

Seriously, Joyce?

It’s amazing how much one person can get wrong in 240 characters.

Let’s start with the “complexity” of conservative speakers who “force universities to pay exorbitant amounts of money for security.” The issue isn’t complex in the least. Conservative speakers have been appearing on college campuses since the beginning of college campuses. They’ve rarely needed security or escorts, as people who give speeches in college auditoriums generally don’t end them by throwing Molotov cocktails and bodily fluids. Typically they just talk…and then go home.

It was only after the election of President Trump that the progressive left in America became so irate and filled with rage that violence on campus started ramping up. Soon, any speaker that espoused conservative values was labeled a “Nazi” by spoiled college students living in comfort in a closed environment that negated the need for any critical thinking skills. Once you dehumanize a person with a label like that – without knowing anything about them, really – you can justify any type of behavior your want toward that “Nazi”. And that is exactly what started happening.

It wasn’t Milo Yiannopoulos who caused $100,000 in damages at Berkeley, it was the childish protesters who objected to his presence by destroying their own campus. Amidst the violence they blocked exits and entrances, forcing the controversial “Infowars” personality to risk his own safety simply to exit the venue.

It wasn’t Ben Shapiro who caused the arrest of nine protesters at one of his Berkeley speaking engagements. Shapiro was just talking…with words…using his mouth. Hardly inciting. It was the immature and soft-thinking college crowd who could not tolerate the presence of a political personality who did not parrot their own underdeveloped rationale, and so turned to violence rather than just letting him talk and just leave.

When “The Bell Curve” author Charles Murray spoke at Middlebury College in Vermont the student body became so violent that they attacked him and his campus escort on the way out of the venue, sending their own professor – Allison Stanger – to the hospital. This is a picture of the man the student body found so threatening they were willing to injure their own (liberal) professor to prove some kind of point.

So no, Joyce…the issue isn’t complex. If college students are so insane that they would tear apart their own campus and physically attack old men and professors over speech they don’t like then administrations are obligated to provide security for those speakers. In fact, insurance riders most likely require adequate security for nearly every event. It isn’t Ben Shapiro’s fault that “adequate security” for a someone like him means protection against death and bodily harm. Charles Murray didn’t come to Middlebury with security, nor did he demand it…but he sure ended up desperately needing it.

JCO’s ridiculous statement that conservative speakers have declared their desire to “bankrupt” public colleges is based on no more than her fantasy of what conservative speakers like the ones mentioned here might say about such things. Of course, she’ll find no such statements anywhere were she to look, but we all know her conjectures are simply that – conjecture based on what she thinks conservatives are probably like. She is a writer who is not at all unfamiliar with ascribing fictitious characteristics to others to suit her needs.

Finally, there’s the insane and sadly misinformed idea that public universities like UC-Berkeley are suffering financially and having their desperately needed funds diverted to those nasty conservative nazis.

The University of California system has a $10 billion endowment and the average yearly tuition is around $30K.  There are around 240,000 students in the UC system. If just half of them pay the full tuition amount (without UC supported financial aid) that’s about $3,600,000,000 in annual tuition dollars. Add to that the astounding amount of corruption within UC administration – including purposefully thwarting a state investigation and hiding $175 million dollars from state auditors – and you’ve got a way bigger problem than just a few conservatives showing up to give a speech now and then.

Trust me, Joyce – the University of California college system is in no way desperate for funds. Desperate for a balanced budget? Yes. Desperate for leaders who aren’t corrupt and greedy? Yes. Desperate for an administration that puts students first instead of treating them like ATM machines? Yes.

Desperate for fewer conservative speakers?

Nope.

Unlike the other issues mentioned here, the solution to this “complex” problem of security for right-wing speakers is really quite simple – don’t protest.

Problem solved. I’ll send my invoice to the UC accounting office care of Janet Napolitano forthwith.