By allowing a group of ham-fisted ideologues to squelch free speech, the university has apparently shown itself to be just another left-crazed bastion of unithink in the increasingly looney world of academia.
Yes, a group of faculty thought-enforcers (we won’t dignify them by terming them “professors”) and some of their sycophant-in-training students managed to make such a commotion (including a destructive sit-in) over the selection of former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s as this year’s commencement speaker that Dr. Rice finally declined the invitation so that she would not be a distraction at an event that is designed to be celebratory for the students and their families.
“I am honored to have served my country.” Dr. Rice said. “I have defended America’s belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. These values are essential to the health of our democracy. But that is not what is at issue here. As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as its former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way.” That Rutgers allowed this to happen is a disgrace.
Of course, Dr. Rice did the correct thing.
She’s a classy lady and a renowned academic in her own right.
She didn’t want the commencement to be about her. She wanted it to be about the students; about learning; about scholarship and great ideas and the future. She knew that could not happen under the circumstances that these whiny malcontents concocted — indeed, that the university allowed them to concoct.
Radical liberals have now effectively taken over the faculties of once great universities — and Rutgers appears to be among them.
Where the free and vigorous exchange of ideas used to prevail in a climate of complete academic freedom we now have a rigid code of enforced leftist thought and behavior. And, incredibly all of this is done in the name of “tolerance and understanding.”
We now have faculties composed of legions of insufferable, aging “flower children” who never left the 1960s, who never really entered the broader workforce, who’ve worked within the narrow, confined, airified world or academia all their lives. These people are far removed from reality and are not ordinarily subject to the usual compromises and reasonable accommodations that the rest of us face day in and day out. They simply will not listen to, will not accommodate, will not welcome views in opposition to their own. And these are the people who are molding young minds. Imagine!
This is not about Dr. Condoleezza Rice and her qualifications, experience or tenure as Secretary of State.
Rather, this is about free speech and the free and open exchange of ideas not just in academia but throughout our society. This is also about the thuggish and relentless enforcement of thought and speech codes in an academic environment.
And, on a broader level this is also about the devaluing of excellence and achievement, and the rigorous thought and debate and hard work which should define true scholarship. When we cast these values aside and replace them with trivialities, sloganeering and the exaltation of cheap thrills and tinhorn, pop-culture heroes, we are in deep trouble.
But that’s what’s happening.
And Rutgers University is allowing it to happen.
Shame on them!