The Nation is worried about the rise of the “homeland security campus”:
From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to “violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention”—as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name—have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university.
Usually this sort of paranoia—the Nation’s, not the government’s—is nothing more than a fun and harmless way for student groups to feel more influential, I daresay threatening, than they really are. The belief that his views are important enough to repress is as indispensable to the campus activist as his Pink Floyd poster and well-thumbed copy of Manufacturing Consent.
The times must be a-changing, though, because the measures the article describes really do sound draconian, if not outright illegal. The University of Florida taser incident, which is mentioned in the article, is emblematic of the triumph of “procedure” over restraint and common sense. (Not to mention that there’s something both pathetic and sinister about a politician who keeps droning on while a twenty-one-year-old showboat is electrocuted in front of him. If you listen hard enough, you can almost hear him asking “Is it safe?” over and over again.)
These developments are worth keeping our own watchful eyes on, but it’s also worth bearing in mind that sometimes the government has a point.