by Locker Room contributor
It’s about time this was said. And the flap over at Harvard clearly illustrates the seriousness of this problem. Here’s what the president of Harvard had to say:
In recent years, the threat of orthodoxy has come primarily from within rather than outside the university. Angered by prejudice in the outside world, many students and faculty have been vocal in criticizing bigotry, opposing war, attacking discrimination and oppression, and urging that curricula be opened to underrepresented authors and neglected points of view. Whether or not one accepts all the arguments advanced, it is perfectly legitimate to express them.
But zealous proponents have sometimes gone further to assemble a daunting list of ideas, words, and phrases ? some of them quite familiar and seemingly innocuous ? that one can utter only at the risk of being labeled racist, sexist, hegemonic, homophobic, patriarchal, gynophobic, or worse … Much worse are deliberate attempts to harass professors, censor students, or disrupt speeches by visitors believed to hold unacceptable views on race, gender, foreign policy, or other controversial subjects.
But the above isn’t by the current Harvard president, Lawrence Summers, under fire for uttering one of the no-no’s on the list mentioned above. It was said fifteen years ago by former Harvard president Derek Bok, from the annual report to Harvard’s Board of Overseers, academic year 1989-98, Harvard Magazine, May-June 1991, p. 41, as cited in Dar?o Fern?ndez-Morera’s American Academia and the Survival of Marxist Ideas (Praeger, 1996).