No Free Speech: Heckler Cancels Another Student Meeting
Last week, a group of at least 4 Portland State University police officers stood by and declined to intervene as a heckler with a cowbell single-handedly canceled a College Republicans meeting. This is the second time in 2019 that PSU allowed hecklers or would-be hecklers to shut down campus expression — and the second time the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has demanded the university adhere to its First Amendment obligations. FIRE first wrote to the university Feb. 18 after PSU’s law enforcement unilaterally canceled a meeting of a socialist student group after the founder of the group Patriot Prayer said he would show up.
Be Careful What You Wish For on Social Programs
Nathan Glazer, the last of a group of famous neocon social scientists, died at the age of 95 on January 19 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. (He resisted the label “neocon.”) Glazer consistently warned that vast government plans to improve the lives of the poor often come to grief or create new problems of their own. “The evaluations of the specifics of the first ten years after the launching of (the War on Poverty) confirm that nothing worked and in particular, nothing in education worked.” He concluded that the family was the key institution to positive social change and that rights are inherent in individuals, not groups. The article here by Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute ran in 2011 when President Obama planned an extension of the War on Poverty.
You, Too, Can Turn in Your Classmate
The campus police of the University of Illinois have issued calls for students to report “acts of intolerance” to the schools Bias Assessment and Response Team. It said, “acts of intolerance create an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for campus community members. Please let us know if you feel unsafe.” According to BART, bias is defined as “actions or expressions that are motivated at least in part by prejudice against or hostility toward a person or group because of that person or group’s perceived age, disability, status, ethnicity, gender, identity-expression, national origin, race, religion/ spirituality, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, etc.” Those reported to BART may be required to participate in mediation or other educational conservations.
More Evidence of Professorial Political Bias
University of North Carolina business professor Michael Jacobs polled 40 Republican students at his school and found that all but two believed they would be penalized for not expressing the professor's politics in a test answer. The professor claimed that faculty should pledge to respect ideological diversity and that chancellors who are too afraid to promote tolerance for ideological diversity should be fired. “One of my top MBA students, who I would categorize as moderate, recently told me that she will no longer participate in class discussions that involve social or political issues for fear of being branded by the ‘progressive police,’” the professor said. Read the story at Campus Reform.
More Risible News From Yale
As you recall, the campus exploded in outrage in 2015 when Prof. Erika Christakis challenged a Yale diktat warning students not to wear offensive costumes for Halloween. (“If you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away,” she wrote in a campus-wide email. Her husband Prof. Nicholas Christakis, threatened by a group of offended students, quit as master of Silliman House after getting zero backing from Yale. In a review of The Coddling of the American Mind in the American Interest, writer Aaron Sibarium says Christakis' successor at Silliman, psychology professor Laurie Santos, has a program for happiness that includes this advice:
- Avoid binding attachments and obligations; these will stress you out and make you sad.
- Focus on cultivating your own mind and mental habits so that you can be happy regardless of your external conditions, a self-reliant ray of sunshine.
- Prioritize instrumental knowledge that helps to achieve your goals; in particular, learn how to manipulate others to your advantage.