A culture of exclusion

In his recent column (“The conservative victim complex,” Nov. 8, 2016), Matthew Massie ’17 attributes conservative students’ discomfort in expressing their ideas to their self-victimization and sense of entitlement.

The author further suggests that liberal intolerance of conservative views has nothing to do with the results of the News’ October 2016 survey, in which the overwhelming majority of students said they believed that Yale was an unwelcoming environment for conservatives (“Election 2016: Conservative views considered unwelcome at Yale,” Oct. 27, 2016).

In my short time here as a first-semester conservative freshman, however, I’ve already witnessed extreme prejudice against right-leaning students on an almost daily basis. Conservative fears are rooted in hypocritical leftist-liberal intolerance and a concomitant lack of commitment to diversity, as opposed to the victim complex that Massie suggests.

When my peers are unaware of ideological leanings, they have told me that they are relieved at not having to “deal with” a conservative roommate. More egregiously, some of them have expressed the view that conservative students must suffer from some sort of  mental illness that makes them “stupider”.

These are but a few of the macroaggressions I’ve heard from liberal students. In light of such viewpoints, it’s no surprise that conservatives feel unwelcome and afraid of speaking candidly outside of conservative circles.

Liberalism is not about condemnation, but about open-mindedness and charitable discourse. Yale’s entitled students are not those facing real persecution from the majority on a frequent basis, but those who have the power and privilege of instituting a culture of exclusion.

Lauren Lee is a freshman in Calhoun College. Contact her at stephen.d.lee@yale.edu.