- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 14, 2022


It is a testament to the sorry state of academia in America today that a former vice president’s visit to the University of Virginia this week was considered such a sterling success.

Mike Pence came. He delivered a rousing address in defense of free speech. He stated a few biological facts. He took questions. He met with enthusiastic students afterward. And he left.

Mr. Pence even walked across campus without getting burned at the stake.

There was plenty of protest. Some of it was even respectful. But nothing too far beyond the bounds of civil discourse.

Not that it was easy for everyone. And certainly no indication that any “student” activists opposed to Mr. Pence listened with an open mind or allowed themselves to learn anything. After all, isn’t that the whole point of academia?

Anyway, these kids already know everything. What could anyone possibly teach them?

In the auditorium where Mr. Pence spoke sat one child student weeping at the mere presence of a former Vice President of the United States with whom she apparently has political differences. By the end of the speech, her eyes were rubbed raw from listening to all the disagreeable speech. 

When Mr. Pence flatly told the audience that UVA swimmer Emma Weyant — an actual female, according to her scientific DNA — won the women’s race in which the top medal was given to a biological male, the child student’s face fractured into confused agony.

Because, you know, science. Or violence. Or something.

But at UVA, that child student was Socrates compared to the spoiled children who boycotted the speech. Dormitory room doors lining the famous lawn cascading down from Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda were scrawled with vulgar messages for the vice president.

So, here at Jefferson’s university, speech is “violence,” but vandalism is totally cool, man. Like, you know, really wicked smart!

Yeah, f—- Mike Pence!

Also, lots of colored chalk on the sidewalks. Most children, of course, give that up when they are 7 years old. But this is UVA, one of America’s most prestigious universities. Highly advanced intellectuals here.

Serious question: Does Mr. Jefferson’s university teach a course on political sidewalk chalk? I bet it would be a huge hit. Maybe a master’s degree program.

Sadly, there are students at UVA even dumber than the unshowered sloths scrawling rainbows on the sidewalks to make themselves feel better about their pronouns: the “editorial board” of the student newspaper, the Cavalier Daily.

“We as an Editorial Board found ourselves questioning what should be protected under the premise of ‘diversity of thought’ and more importantly, what values we choose to accept on Grounds,” the paper warned before Mr. Pence’s arrival. “For us, the answer is simple. Hateful rhetoric is violent — and this is impermissible.”

Yes, these privileged brats are supposed to be the frontline defenders of free speech. At the university founded by the author of the Declaration of Independence. Who is the father of education in America.

The only slice of poetic justice here is that these unhappy, infantile losers will be saddled with massive student loan debt and yet entirely unemployable for 10 years after graduation until they actually grow up.

The first major lesson they will learn — after discovering nobody cares what they think their pronouns are —  is that there is not actually a market for a master’s degree studying “whiteness in evangelical pop culture.”

Hoo boy.

P.T. Barnum had it wrong. There isn’t a sucker born every minute. There are 25,000 of them lying around the lawn in Charlottesville on a warm afternoon.

Mr. Pence’s speech was great. Someone even purchased a couple of American flags for the stage in UVA’s Old Cabell Hall where Mr. Pence spoke. (The flags were still deeply creased from where they had just been removed from their packaging. They were probably sewn in China by slave labor. But, hey, this is UVA and at least they were American flags. Mr. Jefferson would be so proud.)

It was no small feat for the student group Young America’s Foundation to get the university to allow Mr. Pence onto campus in the first place, said UVA’s YAF Chair Nick Cabrera.

The university paid $33,000 for noted racist Ibram X. Kendi — leading peddler of denounced “critical race theory” poison — to speak at campus, but refused to even cover costs for Mr. Pence to speak at Cabell Hall.

“When we asked if they could pay for the venue, which is about just under $1,000, we were declined funding,” Mr. Cabrera told Breitbart News before the speech. “So it just shows where the priorities are at the University.”

Mr. Jefferson’s university has become a parody of privileged obesity and intellectual laziness that defines so much of America today. It is the Walmart of American education, where shoppers don’t even try to hide their flabby guts and exposed, straining thongs.

Luckily, there are true warriors still fighting Mr. Jefferson’s fight. Students like Mr. Cabrera and the Young America’s Foundation, who gave up drawing on sidewalks a long time ago.

As Mr. Pence told them during his speech, adversity does not build character. Adversity reveals character.

• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor of The Washington Times.

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