T.W. Shannon - Rising Black Republican Star...
Many were shocked to learn that IRS agents actually targeted conservative
advocacy groups for heightened scrutiny when making decisions concerning their
tax exempt status. I don't know why so many people were shocked. This is what
university administrators have been doing for nearly twenty years. I've been
writing about it for over ten years because I know that what you see on the
campus today is what you will see in the broader culture tomorrow.
It all began in my home state back in 1995. That was when a gay activist and UNC
administrator named Jonathan Curtis targeted the Muslim Student Association
(MSA) for de-recognition. He didn't like the MSA position on homosexuality so he
decided to yank their status as an official student group.
According to Curtis' demands, the only way the MSA could remain an official
group at UNC would be to change their constitution to be more "inclusive." This
de-recognition would have meant that the MSA would receive no university funding
even though their members paid mandatory student activity fees. Thankfully, a
UNC attorney stopped Curtis from acting on his treats.
When UNC got a new university attorney in 2002, Curtis decided to subject a
number of Christian organizations to heightened scrutiny. I have in my
possession every single email Curtis sent to the organizations he targeted. It
is a stunning display of intolerance in the name of diversity and inclusion. In
one email, Curtis told a campus Christian organization they would be
derecognized if they did not remove statements from their constitution asserting
a "belief in God."
Fortunately, I later found a Christian organization willing to sue. After years
of fighting both in and out of court, the practice of interfering with the
belief requirements of Christian organizations has ended at UNC Chapel Hill. But
for years the cancer spread throughout the broader UNC system.
In 2003, UNC-Wilmington tried to derecognize the College Republicans for
refusing to allow Democrats to lead their organization. We fought that battle
and won. But as late as 2012, UNCW was still trying to deny official recognition
to Christian organizations who wanted to be led by, of all people, Christians.
It took a threat of litigation but I managed to get the university to change its
policy. Now, UNCW Christian groups can control their membership and their
message without government interference. But this basic freedom of association
is still in jeopardy on some UNC campuses.
At their core, these assaults on freedom of association have always been
assaults on freedom of speech. The campus administrators only target groups that
are saying things with which the administration disagrees. The administration is
trying to evangelize the student body and bring them into the church of
multiculturalism. So they try to eliminate groups that promote any kind of
absolute truth or core conservative values.
The IRS has now been caught doing a very similar thing. Their organization
collects taxes. They have an interest in big government. So they are naturally
hostile toward groups seeking a reduction in the size of government. The source
of their motivation is obvious. But where do they get the hubris to act upon the
desire to abuse their power?
The answer is simple: they learned it in college.
Is it any wonder that government agents are now showing the same disdain for
free speech and freedom of association that has been on display on our nation's
campuses since the 1990s?
Things are going to get worse, not better. Just ask the students who are now
appearing before rape tribunals on American campuses. They are routinely denied
attorneys when they appear before the campus judiciary. They are routinely
denied the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And now campuses are
giving accusers the right appeal rape acquittals until the judiciary reaches the
Americans beware. The students running these rape tribunals are our future
prosecutors and our future judges. And they won't just be coming for our taxes.
They will be coming for our liberty as well.
Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina
Wilmington and author of
Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting
Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand, due out in
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