University is supposed to be a place of learning and broadening one’s horizons through rigorous intellectual debate. At least, that’s what I naively believed before I arrived. It has become clear the longer I immerse myself in the social ecosystem of academia just how remarkably biased it is against those who hold dissenting views. It appears that almost nobody in my cohort has broadened their horizons enough to agree with my opinions, which I inherited from my father, he from his and so on and so forth for two glorious centuries.
Indeed, not only are my fellow students unwilling to submissively listen to and consequently adopt my points of view but, instead of debating me, they also frequently resort to extreme acts of bullying. My views have been called “hateful” and “incoherent.” So what if I still believe in the death penalty, manifest destiny and the divine right of conquest? The fact is that I am in line for a hereditary peerage and therefore my opinions in pubs and seminar rooms across the campus must be taken seriously and debated properly (using only evidence I deem acceptable from sources I have pre-approved).
Many students have claimed victimhood simply due to some minor factor such as their social background, ethnicity or sexuality. Pish-posh I say! Ask yourself sincerely, who is the real victim: those who routinely experience systemic discrimination as a result of unconscious biases or deliberate choices in government policy or me, as a person who holds a minority view amongst my peer group. So what if the former Home Secretary and Prime Minister who my family (occasionally) has regular dinners with tried to deport your grandfather? Mine had to publicly apologise for supporting Section 28.
Clearly both our families understand hardship and yet you seem to unwilling to come together on this common ground before agreeing with me completely. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the hostile environment instituted by the student body I feel the need to retire to an intellectual space where I can be safe. Usually I achieve this by reading any national newspaper other than the Guardian.
The vicious prejudice against me is not limited to my peers, the student union or the university press-pack (who publish only 60% of the articles I submit). No — even the lecturers are in on it, penalising me just for holding different views to them. Would a student who was an outspoken communist have ever received feedback on an essay calling it an “un-cited and unsubstantiated Thatcherite ranting with no discernible connection, or indeed mention, of John Keats?”
I think not!
Who could have possibly conceived that people who spend their lives working with young people from across the socio-economic spectrum at a primarily government funded institution with a brief to create knowledge for the common good without a profit motive would have left wing views? Clearly this is outright bias in the hiring process which can be rectified by simply employing ex-investment bankers and letting them be lecturers in Literature or Philosophy. That’s just another one of my views that nobody is brave enough to publish or allow to be totally unchallenged.
So please, if the student body really values openness and acceptance they should stop no platforming me by challenging me when I give my spontaneous opinions about women, homosexuals and conscription. After all, shouldn’t the tolerant left tolerate me?*
Apparently not and it is a shame. My opinions will go unheard and unpublished as they moulder in history’s wheelie-bin. To the landfill I go, and the supposedly rich tapestry that is the intellectual life of this institution will be a lot poorer for it.
*Or, at least, stop shouting at me about the paradox of tolerance. I don’t know what it is and I refuse to care.
Pierre Delecto is a first year student of English and Philosophy and is proud to have been banned from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Spotify.