Academic Intolerance Goes Corporate

by David French

Over at Townhall, Mike Adams has a must-read column about the ordeal of Frank Turek. Cisco Systems hired him to teach a leadership and team-building program for 200 company managers — a job he was performing to rave reviews — until his contract was abruptly terminated. Why? A manager in his class Googled him and found out that he’d written a book opposing same-sex marriage. He had not mentioned the book in class and hadn’t addressed same-sex marriage at all. But no matter. His beliefs were allegedly inconsistent with “Cisco values.”

In his column (written as an open letter to Cisco’s president, John Chambers), Mike asks some appropriate questions:

First, what action would have been taken had Dr. Turek been a proponent of same-sex marriage but a conservative employee had complained? Second, given your support of Senator McCain, a same-sex marriage opponent, are you qualified to be working at Cisco?

In response, a Cisco representative apparently commented on Mike’s piece, calling the incident “isolated” and “inconsistent with Cisco’s culture and practices.” Turek is now allegedly free to bid on future work, but has not yet received any offers. Stay tuned.

Reading about this incident, one detects the unmistakable whiff of academic intolerance, the idea that some ideas (such as support for traditional marriage) are so foul that its adherents must be frog-marched out of polite society. As I’ve said before, the virus of academic oppression can’t be contained, and those who believe that the silliness of university censorship will remain behind ivy-covered walls are — quite simply — fooling themselves.

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