I have to admit some confusion on this subject.
Colleges celebrate the notion that their campuses are a forum for the free expression of ideas. Now while that be a noble goal, from all appearances, that seems to be far from reality today. Some of those ideas, although meant to be food for thought, can get you canned. And it would appear, some ideas can get you killed.
Harvard President Lawrence Summers received a vote of no confidence from members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences because of an uproar caused when in a speech he said that ‘innate’ differences keep women from excelling in math and science. One MIT professor said she almost fainted when he made the statement, and feminists nationwide have been losing their minds.
Students took time out of their busy schedules to picket the meeting and when Summers appeared, the air was filled with “Hey, hey, ho, ho. President Summers has got to go!”
Kids, it’s really time for a new chant….
Even though fellow scientists, male and female, have come to Summers’ defense citing studies that back up his statement, Larry is getting kicked to the curb. So much for his freedom of speech.
So let me throw out a hypothetical. Last time you were at a mall, do any of you remember seeing teenage girls having an intellectual discussion over, let’s say, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? It would seem to me real passion over this topic would only engulf a young woman, after hearing, maybe numerous one-sided presentations in a college classroom, and don’t tell me both sides are given equal weight.
Two years ago, I wrote about Rachel Corrie. This woman is again in the news today because her parents are suing Israel. Why? Because Rachel was killed when she placed her body between an Israeli Defense Force bulldozer and a house suspected to be a Palestinian terrorist hideout in the Gaza Strip.
I’m sure she figured they’d stop because she was a girl.
Somehow, the idea that people who blow up civilian malls, buses, and then go and hide amongst civilians for cover was considered noble and driven home in a way that prompted this woman to place herself in a position her professor never would.
Corrie’s family is suing Israel for $324,000, but I think they should really be suing the university that filled her head with a scenario so one sided, she felt compelled to do something so stupid. If college is a forum for the free expression of ideas, then offer all sides. Not just the ones deemed politically correct.
You might save a job. You might save a life.
Bob Parks is a former congressional candidate, ex-Navy, single dad, graphic designer, life-long New England Patriots fan, and member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21.