Yesterday I was very pleased to hear the pointed, smart questions posed to lecturer Mark Bauerlein, who was meant to be making arguments about non-conformity and political correctness. Students pointed out that his so-called non-conformity or anti-political correctness has also been a cover for mobs energized by misogyny, racist hatred and resentment. Others emphasized that intellectual diversity shouldn’t only be about adding conservative voices to the campus mix, it should also be about adding perspectives outside of the technocratic, liberal mainstream (and this student didn’t mean more Trump supporters). Wesleyan students and faculty certainly were able to listen and respond to the speaker with critical perspectives from which everyone learned, myself included.
A few weeks ago I was interviewed at Wesleyan about related issues. Here is our conversation about free speech and intellectual diversity, this time in podcast form.
1 thought on “Podcast on Intellectual Diversity and Free Speech”
I had a different response to Marc Bauerlein’s talk. I thought he made a good point about how political differences aren’t debated these days, as in his example of the profs at U Penn who condemned a colleague personally for saying something. I’m a loyal Democrat and will fight for my party, but I’ve seen it from my own party leaders: when former Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi disagreed with someone who questioned bi-lingualism as a policy, they called the person racist. This aims to delegitimize the other person and certainly makes them angry and maybe makes them want to find a more congenial political home. Students taking the course on immigration in Govt last year, know there’s a real debate pro and con monolingualism. Bauerlein mentioned, as another example, that the Democratic Party used to have some people who were against abortion and that’s rarely the case now. So I feel Pres Roth’s comment that lists all the “isms” that hide on the other side, just repeats the phenomenon that Bauerlein was trying to critique.
Comments are closed.