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jerryking : intolerance   16

Opinion | Why Harvard Was Wrong to Make Me Step Down
June 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Mr. Sullivan is a law professor at Harvard Law School.

In May, Harvard College announced that it would not renew the appointment of me and my wife, Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s undergraduate residential houses, because I am one of the lawyers who represented the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in advance of his coming sexual assault trial. The administration’s decision followed reports by some students that they felt “unsafe” in an institution led by a lawyer who would take on Mr. Weinstein as a client.

I am willing to believe that some students felt unsafe. But feelings alone should not drive university policy. Administrators must help students distinguish between feelings that have a rational basis and those that do not. In my case, Harvard missed an opportunity to help students do that......I would hope that any student who felt unsafe as a result of my representation of Mr. Weinstein might, after a reasoned discussion of the relevant facts, question whether his or her feelings were warranted. But Harvard was not interested in having that discussion. Nor was Harvard interested in facilitating conversations about the appropriate role of its faculty in addressing sexual violence and the tension between protecting the rights of the criminally accused and treating survivors of sexual violence with respect.

Instead, the administration capitulated to protesters. Given that universities are supposed to be places of considered and civil discourse, where people are forced to wrestle with difficult, controversial and unfamiliar ideas, this is disappointing......reasoned discourse lost out to raw feelings......I am not opposed to student protest. Many important social justice movements began with student protests, including movements from which I, as an African-American, have benefited. Had it not been for students who staged sit-ins at lunch counters, I would not have had the opportunity to be trained at Harvard Law School.

But I am profoundly troubled by the reaction of university administrators who are in charge of student growth and development. The job of a teacher is to help students think through what constitutes a reasonable argument. It is a dereliction of duty for administrators to allow themselves to be bullied into ..Unchecked emotion has replaced thoughtful reasoning on campus. Feelings are no longer subjected to evidence, analysis or empirical defense. Angry demands, rather than rigorous arguments, now appear to guide university policy.
African-Americans  bullying  capitulation  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  firings  gut_feelings  Harvard  Harvey_Weinstein  HLS  intolerance  logic_&_reasoning  missed_opportunities  op-ed  policymaking  political_correctness  professors  protests  students 
june 2019 by jerryking
We cannot win if we do not like each other
May 6 2018 | Sunday Stabroek | by Ian McDonald.

When I was a schoolboy we had a games-master named Mr. Wilkinson who had served the College for all eternity. I suppose he must have been in his fi...
Guyana  Guyanese  partisanship  national_unity  factionalism  dissension  ethnic_divisions  politics  intolerance  incivility  mistrust  personal_animosity  personal_invective 
may 2018 by jerryking
Mizzou, Yale and Free Speech - The New York Times
NOV. 11, 2015 | NYT | Nicholas Kristof.

On university campuses across the country, from Mizzou to Yale, we have two noble forces colliding with explosive force

One is a concern for minority or marginalized students and faculty members, who are often left feeling as outsiders in ways that damage everyone’s education. ........ the other noble force in these upheavals — free expression. ....academia — especially the social sciences — undermines itself by a tilt to the left. We should cherish all kinds of diversity, including the presence of conservatives to infuriate us liberals and make us uncomfortable. Education is about stretching muscles, and that’s painful in the gym and in the lecture hall....My favorite philosopher, the late Sir Isaiah Berlin, argued that there was a deep human yearning to find the One Great Truth. In fact, he said, that’s a dead end: Our fate is to struggle with a “plurality of values,” with competing truths, with trying to reconcile what may well be irreconcilable.

That’s unsatisfying. It’s complicated. It’s also life.
Nicholas_Kristof  Yale  Mizzou  irreconcilables  freedom_expression  struggles  values  Isaiah_Berlin  Colleges_&_Universities  intolerance  political_correctness 
november 2015 by jerryking
First, they came for the smokers ...
Jun. 05 2004 | The Globe and Mail | by DOUG SAUNDERS.

Toronto this week became the latest city to force-sanitize its people, in a total butt ban that has managed to erase two years of pot cafés and gay weddings and restore its reputation as the City of Grey Displeasure.

Why have so many Canadians, who are not at all anti-pleasure zealots, allowed this petty tyranny to take place? Well, because most Canadians, like me, don't smoke. But why, then, didn't a whole lot of us pink-lunged abstainers stand up for the rights of our nicotine-besotted friends and relatives -- not to endorse their habit, but to suggest that perhaps they shouldn't be forbidden from being indoors with us?

Because that's not the Canadian way. We consider ourselves a tolerant people, above all else, but at the end of the day, our tolerance extends only to people who are just like us. Canadians, over and over, fail to raise a finger for people who may not share their views and customs. To most of the world, this would be called intolerance.

The failure of non-smokers to speak up for smokers fits into a long and depressing trend. Smoking is a small and petty example. But in recent years, Canadians have been subjected to an alarming sequence of laws that place menacing limits on expression, political behaviour and the rights of ideological and religious minorities. Why was this so easy? Because we did the dividing in advance, so the conquering could be so much easier.
Doug_Saunders  nanny_state  intolerance 
march 2013 by jerryking
Tolerance must flow two ways
September 23, 2006 |Globe & Mail pg. A19 | Rex Murphy.

"These considerations are troubling. First, because the respect and privilege claimed by some Muslims is not afforded religions other than their own in their societies. There is a magnificent mosque in Rome close to the Vatican. Do I need to say there is no basilica in Mecca? One religion should not claim rights it will not afford to all others."
Rex_Murphy  Pope_Benedict_XIV  intolerance  Islam  Muslims  Christianity 
may 2012 by jerryking
Stephens: Egypt—The Hangover -
MARCH 29, 2011 WSJ By BRET STEPHENS. Cairo's liberals tell a different story than Team Obama.
Egypt  Bret_Stephens  intolerance  religious_freedom  religious_intolerance 
april 2011 by jerryking
Review & Outlook: Islam's Christians -
DECEMBER 14, 2010 | WSJ | Editorial. Persecution of Iraq's
Christian minorities...raises questions about contemporary Islam's
ability to coexist with non-Islamic peoples—in Iraq and elsewhere...A
spate of anti-Christian bombings and assassinations in Iraq culminated
recently in the siege of a church, Our Lady of Salvation, which resulted
in the death of 51 worshipers and two priests. Afterward, Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke with force and eloquence about the
deaths: "The Christian is an Iraqi. He is the son of Iraq and from the
depths of a civilization that we are proud of."

This is an important and accurate description of the Iraqi past. Some of
these Christian minorities have coexisted with Islam in Iraq and
elsewhere in the Middle East since the time of Jesus. Some still speak
Aramaic, the ancient language of Christ....With the rise of radical
Islam, this tradition of peaceful and productive coexistence has been
displaced by a practice of religious cleansing.
christianity  persecution  intolerance  anti-Christian  Iraq  Egypt  coexistence  islam  religious_intolerance  religious_freedom  pluralism  editorials 
december 2010 by jerryking

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