Cultural war at the UM

Cultural war at the UM

At least eighty per cent of the people can live with diversity, but allow themselves to be intimidated by ideological extremists

06-04-2022 · Letter

We find ourselves in a state of cultural confusion, says the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in an extensive interview in the NRC on 1 April. He detests the cancel hype that is especially prevalent on American student campuses where you can no longer disagree with each other and when you voice objections, left-wing radical students make you out to be a racist who must be punished, and preferably eliminated. Unfortunately, this is comparable to the present cultural war being waged at the UM since Observant refused to ‘rectify’ menstruating women into menstruating people.

I am now - personally a former University Council member – extremely shocked that during the latest University Council meeting people refused to respond to the request made by council member Maarten van Wesel on behalf of administrative and support staff. A request to defend the fundamental right to be able to express different opinions and to condemn the attacks on the Observant. Fortunately, president Rianne Letschert stated that at least the Executive Board emphatically condemned this attack on freedom of the press and freedom of opinion.

The silent majority. I was embarrassed to read in Jonathan Haidt’s piece that at least eighty per cent of the people can live with diversity, but allow themselves to be intimidated by ideological extremists. However, giving into them is bad for an - already worldwide wavering - democracy and mental health. He states that universities may be the only place to turn disagreement into truth. Council members, especially academic staff, don’t be afraid of being cancelled and open your mouths. Fight for free speech and put Van Wesel’s motion on the agenda for the next University Council meeting.

Machteld Roede, former UM employee (scientific staff) and former member of the university council

 

 

Author: Redactie

Photo: Shutterstock

Tags: press freedom,university council,freedom of speech,observant,ddos attack,cyberattack

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