Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not in Academia

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

When outspoken conservative Paul Gottfried gave a lecture at Hamilton College, he was literally outspoken.

“Although he was greeted by students holding signs accusing him of racism, Gottfried gave two informed performances and responded to questions, including hostile ones, with intelligence and courtesy,” Mary Grabar, a resident fellow at the nearby Hamilton Institute writes on “Nevertheless, his visit inspired campus-wide denunciations in a letter from the Government Department, editorials in the student newspaper, and a letter from the college president.”

Offhand, it sounds like Gottfried gave more courtesy than he got.

Grabar writes that “Two days after the visit, students, faculty, and administrators received the following proclamation:

‘We the undersigned full-time members of the Government Department would like to speak out regarding Paul Gottfried’s visit to one of our courses. We are still learning about what transpired on Wednesday. . . . However, we have already heard multiple complaints from students about racist remarks allegedly made by Gottfried. We unequivocally condemn any and all such racist remarks. . . . ‘”

In the America of my youth, it was “innocent until proven guilty.” In academia today, it’s just “guilty as charged.”