Patterico's Pontifications


Constitutional Vanguard: The Hypocrisy of the University Presidents on Calls for Genocide

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:19 pm

In my occasional lengthy newsletter, I have weighed in on the topic of the university presidents who were interrogated by Chief Trump Apologist Elise Stefanik. Excerpt from the free portion:

Reader, I’d like to ask you a hypothetical question.

A student at a private university is standing on the main quadrangle of the campus. It’s a high-traffic area through which many, if not most, students must pass as they make their way to class. The student has a bullhorn, and he is shouting: KILL ALL THE BLACKS! A large mob, consisting entirely of other students, echoes his rhythmic chant. Each time he calls for the killing of all black people, the mob echoes his chant: KILL ALL THE BLACKS!*

Should this kind of conduct be grounds for discipline of the chanting students?

Does the answer depend on the context?

And the most salient question of all:

Does any sentient being reading this believe that any private university would allow such conduct to go undisciplined?

And from the paid portion:

This gets us back to the example I started the post with: a student at a private university standing in the center of the main quad with a bullhorn, leading a chant that says “KILL ALL THE BLACKS!” Whatever you think about context, that is going to be considered harassment by a college administrator.

This is how we all know that the college professors being interrogated by Stefanik were playing such a disingenuous game at that congressional hearing. They were posing as Staunch Advocates of Free Speech, who supposedly allow all kinds of uncomfortable speech due to their Great Respect for the Important Value of Free Expression. [Capitalized words can convey a sense of mordant irony as effectively as exclamation points. — Ed.] And that pose is simply a pile of horse droppings.

Discussing this issue on the Dispatch Podcast, Steve Hayes made reference to two salient facts about Harvard University, an institution which serial plagiarist and Harvard President Claudine Gay portrayed in the hearings as a bastion of free speech. First: FIRE has published its 2024 rankings of 248 colleges and universities in terms of their tolerance of free speech. Of all 248 schools, guess which one ranked dead last?

If you guessed “Harvard University,” you win the kewpie doll.

I always feel defensive about the sporadic nature of these missives, and so I feel compelled to point out that today’s piece contains some 4300+ words for free, and some 3100+ words for the paid subscribers. If a standard newspaper op-ed is 800 words, this is the equivalent of over nine op-eds, including nearly four for the paid subscribers. I think I have realized over time that, perhaps unlike many writers, I tend to deliver more value when I can really crawl inside a topic and take it apart in detail, and that takes time and space. If you’re the type who can only read 800 words at a time, feel free to read these missives in chunks. I try to split them up into sections to make that possible. In any event, thanks to those of you who are patient both with the intervals of time between missives and with the length of the pieces.

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