Friday, December 17, 2004

Bigotry on Campus

The Chronicle: Career Network: 12/15/2004: "After class, I asked one of the students for his read on what had happened. How could the response be so heated but the question left unengaged? He replied: 'You know how it is. Students don't want to disagree with their professors. Most of the students around here are pretty conservative, but they get the strong sense that their professors are liberal. And on issues like these, they're afraid to disagree.' They had made assumptions about how I would think and were reluctant to contradict me.
A couple of days later, during the Republican National Convention, I ate lunch with several colleagues. The discussion turned, inevitably, to politics. The anti-Republican tenor at the table remained unbroken, but reached its zenith with this vehement comment from one colleague, 'I'm not even going to watch [the convention]. I can't stand it.'
I could no longer blame the students for shying away from hot-button issues like Iraq: For them, the academy does not foster thoughtful discussion of thorny issues, but harbors the potential at any time to unleash the visceral reactions of their superiors to what students think are their own reasoned political positions. For students, the risk of speaking up is much the same as it is for me: They risk losing the respect of professors and perhaps endangering their long-term aspirations. "

Just another example.

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