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Yale Lecturer Behind Halloween Email Defending Free Speech Resigns 

Yale University have confirmed that the lecturer who sent an email stating that students should not seek to censor Halloween costumes has today resigned from her teaching position.

Richard Lewis reports: Erika Christakis, an expert in childhood education, sent the email as a result of student activist complaints about cultural appropriation and perceived racism on campus. The protests will best be remembered for producing this video where a female student screamed into the face of Nicholas Christakis, husband of Erika and a Bowdoin Prize winning academic, making the bold claim that the university campus isn’t an “intellectual space.” Mr. Christakis shall also be taking a one term sabbatical in the aftermath of the incident.

Why the email generated any controversy is anyone’s guess. Mrs. Christakis asked the question, “Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious, a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Liberalism’s Imaginary Enemies

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Little children have imaginary friends. Modern liberalism has imaginary enemies.

Bret Stephensrenocol_BretStephens writes: Hunger in America is an imaginary enemy. Liberal advocacy groups routinely claim that one in seven Americans is hungry—in a country where the poorest counties have the highest rates of obesity. The statistic is a preposterous extrapolation from a dubious Agriculture Department measure of “food insecurity.” But the line gives those advocacy groups a reason to exist while feeding the liberal narrative of America as a savage society of haves and have nots.

The campus-rape epidemic—in which one in five female college students is said to be the victim of sexual assault—is an imaginary enemy. Never mind the debunked rape scandals at Duke and the University of Virginia, or the soon-to-be-debunked case at the heart of “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about an alleged sexual assault at Harvard Law School. The real question is: If modern campuses were really zones of mass predation—Congo on the quad—why would intelligent young women even think of attending a coeducational school? They do because there is no epidemic. But the campus-rape narrative sustains liberal fictions of a never-ending war on women.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Institutionalized racism is an imaginary enemy. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that the same college administrators who have made a religion of diversity are really the second coming of Strom Thurmond. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that twice electing a black president is evidence of our racial incorrigibility. We’re supposed to believe this anyway because the future of liberal racialism—from affirmative action to diversity quotas to slavery reparations—requires periodic sightings of the ghosts of a racist past.

I mention these examples by way of preface to the climate-change summit that began this week in Paris. But first notice a pattern. Read the rest of this entry »


40% of Millennials Say Government Should Prevent Offensive Speech Toward Minorities 

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Kerry Picket reports: A new Pew Research Center poll shows that 40 percent of American Millennials (ages 18-34) are likely to support government prevention of public statements offensive to minorities.

It should be noted that vastly different numbers resulted for older generations in the Pew poll on the issue of offensive speech and the government’s role.

Around 27 percent of Generation X’ers (ages 35-50) support such an idea, while 24 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) agree that censoring offensive speech about minorities should be a government issue. Only 12 percent of the Silent Generation (ages 70-87) thinks that government should prevent offensive speech toward minorities.

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The poll comes at a time when college activists, such as the group “Black Lives Matter,” are making demands in the name of racial and ethnic equality at over 20 universities across the nation.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]

Some of the demands include restrictions on offensive Halloween costumes at Yale University to the deletion of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s image and name at Princeton University to “anti-oppression training” for employees at Brown University.

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“Woodrow Wilson obviously … had a very ill-informed and ignorant view of race,” 1968 Princeton graduate Eric Chase told Reuters. “But he is a big piece of Princeton history and he should stay a big piece,” noting that it’s a push to “erase history and whitewash it and put something else in its place.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Army Football Takes the Field Carrying the French Flag

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Army is squaring off against Tulane on Saturday, and the Black Knights paid tribute to the victims of Friday’s Paris terror attacks by carrying both the American and French flags onto the field.

Army defensive back Caleb McNeill carries the flag of France onto the field before an NCAA college football game against Tulane, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Army defensive back Caleb McNeill carries the flag of France onto the field before an NCAA college football game against Tulane, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

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Source: The Washington Post


David Kaufman: ‘Sorry, Kids: A Real Movement Needs More than Hurt Feelings’ 

The protests at the University of Missouri and Yale University have given us endless tales of racial slights and looming violence at campuses nationwide. But where’s the agenda?

“Most worrisome, by rooting these complaints almost entirely in an emotional agenda, the protesters conveniently shield themselves from a cornerstone of American liberal-arts education — self-reflection and honest critique.”

The alleged offenses range from the horrific — fecal swastikas, social-media threats against black students — to more trivial questions about skin tone, hair texture and economic status.

Stung by a seemingly endless barrage of race-based attacks, Missouri students feel “awkward,” “exhausted” and “uncomfortable,” The New York Times reports.

Elle interviewed a Yale senior who says the school makes people of color “feel small” and she, personally, like “the token black girl at the party every weekend.”

And The Washington Post wrote of Missouri students as “hurting victims” in need of a “rare space where their blackness could not be violated.”

Having survived my own journey as a minority at a pair of elite East Coast universities, I can understand these kids’ sentiments — no matter the navel-gazing. But the sentiment seems to drown out any discussion of much actual fact.

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Reared on a diet of “microaggressions” and “hostile environments,” “safe spaces” and the need for “validation,” many of these students have seemingly conflated hurt feelings with actual outright discrimination.

[Read the full story here, at the New York Post]

The distinction is important — particularly at a moment when words like “violence,” “outrage” and “marginalization” have become little more than opportunistic jargon. Offense, while unfortunate, does not a movement make — a point wisely raised by Hillary Clinton when confronting #blacklivesmatter protesters this April. Read the rest of this entry »


Harvard and Yale Condemn, Reject ASA Boycott of Israel

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William Bigelow writes:  The backlash against the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israel is growing among the top universities in the country. Both Harvard and Yale have now condemned and rejected the Association’s boycott.

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust stated, “Academic boycotts subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of scholars. The recent resolution of the ASA proposing to boycott Israeli universities represents a direct threat to these ideals, ideals which universities and scholarly associations should be dedicated to defend.” He was joined by Yale President Peter Salovey, who asserted, “Any attempt to close off discussion or dialogue among scholars is antithetical to the fundamental values of scholarship and academic freedom. I stand with the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities in my strong opposition to a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”

Other high-ranking universities that have already condemned the boycott include PrincetonBrownCornellUniversity of ChicagoNorthwestern University and New York University.

Read the rest of this entry »