Young people and protests
A recent Sheridan Press editorial encouraged readers to respect young people by “bringing civility to discussions; listening for understanding; and considering a perspective different than one’s own.” I agree with those thoughts and wish that more universities would treat conservatives — students and guest speakers — that way on campus.
This letter is not intended to criticize or impugn the students in Sheridan who chose to take part in last week’s demonstrations. As a retired school teacher, I do think they should have held their event after school, rather than take away from class time.
That said, I wish to point out some things for the young people to consider. I may have been a young woman a long time ago, but I remember the exuberance of my youth and, after working with middle school and high school students for 30 years, I fully understand how and why they often feel moved to action.
My comments are directed more at the nationwide National School Walkout to (ostensibly) protest gun violence. It has been widely reported that George Soros-funded organizations have had a hand in such activities from behind the scenes. Left-oriented groups targeting youth is nothing new. I saw it when I was in college during the 1960s. My suspicions about that era’s demonstrations, marches and even riots were born out after Russia opened the Soviet archives after the fall of the USSR. They clearly show that Communist front organizations, funded by the Soviet secret police (the KGB), played a major role in organizing and promoting these student activities.
What bothers me about the current effort of left-supporting groups to involve young people’s protests is that, as David Davenport, fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, has pointed out “researchers generally agree that the brain is still developing until the mid-20s, with moral reasoning and abstract thought coming later in the cycle than previously thought.” This makes young people susceptible to siren songs which rely more on emotion than facts and documented evidence.
I would love to see middle and high schools conduct debates involving rational discussion of important issues. This might result in students demanding a more open exchange of information at our colleges and that less attention be focused on “safe spaces,” avoidance of “micro-aggressions,” and other silly fads designed to hinder, rather than promote, the free exchange of ideas recommended by the SP in their editorial.