Saturday, March 4, 2017

Things are Just Fine in Universities, I See

College Protestors Send Professor to the ER
If students (and especially professors, who really ought to know better) want to criticize an author, they should read what he’s written first. That so many clearly did not speaks to the deteriorating academic rigor of colleges today. If college students are not internalizing the need to engage primary sources, what exactly are they learning in their undergraduate years? The ideology that has taken hold of academia is intellectually lazy and thus leads to sloppy, emotion-driven conclusions. Murray may be deeply unsettling and even terrifying to some. We’ll take students at their word about such subjective matters. But, objectively, a Charles Murray lecture does not pose a literal threat to anyone’s existence. That is lunacy. It’s also genuinely scary; it’s this line of thought that led some hot-headed protestors to justify physically assaulting Murray and Stanger. This is why it won’t be enough for professors and administrators merely to defend open discourse in vague, principled terms. They need to engage students (and clueless, supportive faculty) in a debate about deeper substance.