Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Quote of the Day: Glimmers of Hope at Brown University

There are still defenders of free speech and open inquiry on campus.  As one of them just said in an interview with FIRE, if he were a university president, he would say this:
"I would make some sort of public statement—whether unprompted or prompted by one of these events—in which I said, 'This is academia and you have the right to say anything, no matter how radical it is, no matter how offensive it may seem to existing power structures. You are not required to uphold ideals held by mainstream America at all.'

Every time one of these issues came up, I would say, 'You can say here whatever you want. We can't police what you say. We can police what you do. And even though we can't police what you say, we discourage students in the strongest of terms attempting to shut down other students and we reject the notion that there are no open questions on controversial matters.'"
He then boldly slams Brown's administration for its deplorable spinelessness.  Kudos.  More of this, please.  Nobody cares much if teachers push back, but if more dissenting students do, it matters more in these ongoing and increasingly nasty campus culture wars.

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