Liberals Endangered in Own Natural Habitat: Liberal Colleges

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

At Skidmore College, where there are no immediately identifiable conservatives, faculty members have started to intimidate liberals with stray thoughts.

Robert Boyers, an English professor at Skidmore, recounted a couple of recent episodes in The Chronicle Review on March 24, 2017:

  • “At my own college, when a senior colleague at a public meeting last fall uttered an expression (‘in their native habitat’) felt by some to be ‘offensive’—though clearly not intended to be so, and followed by a clear apology when a complaint was voiced—there were calls for her to resign from the faculty. And though she is, and will remain, with us, the incident prompted a volley of abusive and self-righteous rhetoric, drove more than one faculty member to advise students away from courses taught by ‘that woman’ and stirred a renewed emphasis on ‘re-education’ and ‘rehabilitation.’”
  • “A distinguished scholar at my own college writes in an open email letter to the faculty that when colleagues who are ‘different’ (in his case, nonwhite, nonstraight, nonmale) speak to us we are compelled not merely to listen but to ‘validate their experiences.’ When we meet at a faculty reception a week or so later and he asks what I think of his letter, I tell him I admire his willingness to share his thoughts but have been puzzling over the word ‘compelled’ and the expression ‘validate their experiences.’ Does he mean thereby to suggest that if we have doubts or misgivings about what a colleague has said to us, we should keep our mouths shut? Exactly, replies my earnest, right-minded colleague.”