Lawrence Summers lost his job as president of Harvard partly because he failed to grovel quick enough and hard enough for a harmless remark about a possible obstacle to female success. Smith College president Kathleen McCartney , on the other hand, has just performed a state-of-the-art grovel over an even more harmless comment. At the end of an email on protests about Ferguson and Staten Island, she appended the thought that “all lives matter,” which would have been fine and proper in the real world, but dangerously askew on the PC campus. What she should have said is “black lives matter,” the mandatory mantra of the day, non-black lives not being worth defending, at least for the time being. Get that mantra right or lose your job. The agile McCartney kept hers.
John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.