The editor of a Christian magazine says he’s through hiring graduates from Ivy League colleges and universities because they are either too ‘woke’ and full of self-importance or they lack the intestinal fortitude to push back on leftist ‘cancel culture.’
“First Things” editor R. R. Reno, whose monthly religious mag has a circulation of 30,000, made his remarks in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
“I’m not inclined to hire a graduate from one of America’s elite universities. That marks a change. A decade ago I relished the opportunity to employ talented graduates of Princeton, Yale, Harvard and the rest. Today? Not so much,” he began.
There are eight Ivy League schools, which are known as such for their exclusivity. The other five are Cornell, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania.
Continuing, Reno described a recent experience at Haverford College, “a fancy school outside Philadelphia” that he attended in his youth, regarding an “uproar” last fall on campus. He said students who had previously staged a strike concerning “antiblackness” and the alleged “erasure of marginalized voices” led college administrators to set up a Zoom meeting for all undergrads, several of which “displayed a stunning combination of thin-skinned narcissism and naked aggression.” The result was administrators offering up “self-abasing apologies” to the aggressive undergrads.
“Haverford is a progressive hothouse. If students can be traumatized by ‘insensitivity’ on that leafy campus, then they’re unlikely to function as effective team members in an organization that has to deal with everyday realities,” Reno wrote. “And in any event, I don’t want to hire someone who makes inflammatory accusations at the drop of a hat.”
The Christian editor went on to say that while “student activists” are not in the majority on campuses, he is concerned about how little most other students push back on the vocal minority. “They allow themselves to be cowed by charges of racism and other sins,” Reno wrote, adding that intimidation is high at elite universities.
That said, “I don’t want to hire” someone who is “well-practiced in remaining silent when it costs something to speak up,” the editor wrote.
Reno went on to write that “normal” students at Ivy League schools tend to try and blend in and not draw attention to themselves, but over the course of their academic career, he worries that conditions them to be meek throughout their lives.
“Over the course of four years, this can become a subtle but real habit of obeisance, a condition of moral and spiritual surrender,” he noted.
There are students who resist in such circumstances, and while those grads might “seem ideal” for a magazine that seeks to speak on behalf of “religious and social conservatives,” Reno still has concerns about their bringing “liabilities to the workplace.”
“I’ve met recent Ivy grads with conservative convictions who manifest a form of posttraumatic stress disorder. Others have developed a habit of aggressive counterpunching that is no more appealing in a young employee than the ruthless accusations of the woke,” he noted.
While his “first instinct” is to hire young graduates from academic institutions he recommends like conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan, Reno added that “large state universities and their satellite schools are also good sources” for future employees.
“A few years ago a student at an Ivy League school told me, ‘The first things you learn your freshman year is never to say what you are thinking,'” he writes in conclusion. “The institution he attended claims to train the world’s future leaders. From what that young man reports, the opposite is true. The school is training future self-censors, which means future followers.”
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