A bright spot in the dark world of American higher education.
The University of Chicago’s president, Dr. Robert J. Zimmer, wrote a Wall Street Journal article, titled “Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education.” In it, he wrote: “Free speech is at risk at the very institution where it should be assured: the university. Invited speakers are disinvited because a segment of a university community deems them offensive, while other orators are shouted down for similar reasons. Demands are made to eliminate readings that might make some students uncomfortable. Individuals are forced to apologize for expressing views that conflict with prevailing perceptions. In many cases, these efforts have been supported by university administrators.”
Sharing the president’s vision, the University of Chicago’s dean of students, John Ellison, sent a letter to freshmen students that read, in part: “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”
Those are hardly the sentiments of dishonest and spineless administrators at other colleges. At DePaul University, a visit by conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos was disrupted by student activists. School security refused to restore order and later banned Yiannopoulos from returning. Conservative Ben Shapiro was invited by Young America’s Foundation to California State University, Los Angeles to deliver a speech titled “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.” University President William Covino wrote an email that read, “After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity. Such an event will better represent our university’s dedication to the free exchange of ideas.” But note that the university invited leftists such as Cornel West, Angela Davis and Tim Wise without feeling a need for differing viewpoints.
Sociologist Barry Glassner is the president of Lewis & Clark College. Morton Schapiro is the president of and a professor of economics at Northwestern University. Schapiro wrote in The Washington Post: “I’m an economist, not a sociologist or psychologist, but those experts tell me that students don’t fully embrace uncomfortable learning unless they are themselves comfortable. Safe spaces provide that comfort.” Both presidents, in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, said campus protests are a “sign of progress” toward diversity and inclusion and are “noble” methods of change, as opposed to the opining of “pundits and politicians … from gated communities and segregated offices.” They added, “Students are coming of age in a time of political, social and economic turbulence unseen in a generation.”
Many college administrators have generalized contempt for American values. Here’s just a bit of the evidence. A reporter from Project Veritas covertly recorded an administrator at Vassar College following through on her request to shred the Constitution. Carol Lasser, professor of history and director of gender, sexuality and feminist studies at Oberlin College, said that “the Constitution is an oppressive document” because it intentionally makes change a slow process. Wendy Kozol, chair of comparative American studies at Oberlin, agreed, saying “the Constitution in everyday life causes people pain” and adding that she rarely discusses the Constitution in class and that when she does, she tends to focus on specific amendments.
The University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University have announced safe spaces to protect students from unwelcome opinions. University of California, Santa Barbara students want trigger warnings for all classes and the right to be excused from any lessons that might “trigger” them.
The courage shown by University of Chicago administrators is relatively rare. The academic tyranny seen on many college campuses reflects a dereliction of duty by those who are charged with the ultimate control — the boards of trustees. Trustees have the power to fire a president and his key administrators for yielding to campus tyrants. College administrators buy into today’s nonsense because they lack backbone and are cowards. Worse yet, they may see merit in safe spaces, trigger warnings and student disruption of speakers with uncomfortable ideas.
published in Frontpage mag on 9-14-2016
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.