Growing up seems to be out of fashion on campus today. When confronted with ideas that don’t mirror their own, students at elite schools figuratively place their hands over their ears and shout at the top of their lungs to drown out the offending words, over and over, “I can’t hear you.”
One example is the recent treatment Brown students gave New York police commissioner Ray Kelly: they shouted him down until he left the stage. A less publicized but equally egregious incident occurred at Duke a couple of weeks ago. In this week’s Clarion Call, Jane Shaw discusses how students protested controversial sociologist Charles Murray by turning their backs and walking out of the auditorium just as he began to speak. Roughly half the crowd participated in the childish demonstration.
Perhaps even worse, reading comprehension also appears to be passé at Duke. Shaw shows how the students who sounded the ignoble retreat badly misinterpreted Murray’s work as they vilified him.