"It's important that campuses be havens of maximum comfort for students to explore their own deeply important, personal, and self-actualizing ideas, free from the unpleasant psychic residue and general ickiness of people and events of the past," said Harlan P. Wentwich, President of Sniveling Worm University.
Students' claims here not only point to an urgent and wholly reasonable need, but also implicitly invoke Yale's own policies, which describe college masters as entrusted with their students' "physical well being and safety" and with overseeing each college's "social, cultural, and educational life and character."
I don't really care one way or the other whether Princeton erases Woodrow Wilson from its history - except to the extent that such an action would inevitably invite an endless array of similar claims that would both fundamentally distort the realities of our history and distract attention from the real issues of deeply-rooted injustice in our contemporary society that we need to take seriously today.
Here's some advice for students who value intellectual safety over intellectual freedom: Check out the University of Illinois, which over the past 15 months has spent over two million dollars to keep the innocent young minds of its students safe from the "anti-Semitic" ideas and "uncivil" expression of Steven Salaita.
Instead of screaming about who is or is not being allowed to speak, America needs to take the time to listen to those who are bravely advocating for equality on college campuses. We are simply asking that America live up to a promise it made to white women and people of color long ago but has not yet fulfilled.
This trend of catastrophization is so dangerous -- instead of spreading awareness of racial, gender and economic inequality, it shifts the focus toward policing speech and shaming perceived transgressors. As liberals, we need to remember is that this behavior violates two fundamental assumptions of our ideology.
The framers of the Constitution couldn't have foreseen a time in which technology allowed more than 2.7 billion people to communicate worldwide via interconnected digital platforms. This exponential growth of speech is without precedent -- and it requires us to be clear on who the real speakers are.
For now, we have an endless litany of tragedies to which we react with collective pathos and impotence, knowing for certain that we await the next. We have a bizarre double-standard, in which the First Amendment is spared the tortured literalism imposed upon the Second by those with ulterior motives.