By Allan Wall
Kylee McLaughlin, the Christian conservative volleyball player (right) who recently sued the University of Oklahoma because of Woke harassment by her coaches that ultimately forced her to transfer, is just the latest evidence that the leading public college in my very Red home state of Oklahoma has quietly, and incredibly, become a Communist enclave [Ex-Oklahoma volleyball player labeled a racist for conservative views: lawsuit, by Yaron Steinbuch, New York Post, June 4, 2021]. But Oklahoma’s GOP elected officials, notably the appalling U.S. Senator James Lankford, who is up for re-election this year, have said nothing.
Tuition at OU is actually reasonable by Higher Ed’s rapacious standards: about $7,000 for in-state students and only about $15,000 for out-of-state students. Which looks like a bargain, but isn’t! Students don’t get what they pay for if they can’t express themselves and must worry about committing Thought Crimes.
In 2016, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education picked OU for its Top 10 list of worst colleges for free speech [FIRE Announces 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2016, February 17, 2017]. OU’s FIRE rating is yellow (between green and red). Its speech regulations include “at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.”
On FIRE’s 100-point scale that surveyed 55 colleges, the university ranked an abysmal 38. FIRE CEO Greg Lukianoff detailed OU’s anti-free speech movement at HuffPost [The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2016, December 6, 2017]. Oklahoma State University, the state’s second biggest university, has PC problems too, but its ranking is 50. I documented a reason here: Struggle Session: OSU Football Coach Vows to Conform, U.S. Inc., June 25, 2020].
OU’s problems are not new. They go back at least 21 years, when geology professor David Deming began wrangling with the Powers That Be. Deming [Email him] stood up courageously for Free Speech, despite losing classes, being kicked out of his department, and suffering the indignity of having his office moved to a basement.
In 2004, FIRE published a report that included David French—yes that David French, who then worked at FIRE—describing the Stalinist effort to silence Deming:
One find as much racism as one is looking for.
Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Can Painting sold for $11.8 million.