The illiberal idiocy currently on display at the University of Missouri and Yale has now manifested itself at Vanderbilt, where an online student petition demanding the suspension of Professor of Law and Political Science Carol Swain for being “hateful” toward minorities has gotten more than 1,000 signatures. The fact that Professor Swain is black is no insulation from these charges.
Swain’s apostasy is that she has made politically incorrect statements about radical Islam and her traditional Christian beliefs, statements that the petitioners deem intolerant and which the University, therefore, must not tolerate — tolerance, of course, being a one-way street.
Without any apparent sense of irony, the petitioners make the inevitable demand that Swain be sent to diversity training camp (along with the rest of the faculty) so that she will think and speak in a manner approved by the commissars of political correctness.
Professor Swain has testified a number of times before the U.S.Commission on Civil Rights, of which I’m a member. It’s plain from her testimony that she suffers from two serious afflictions: speaking plainly and not suffering fools (or foolishness) gladly. I may sometimes disagree with her but she’s learned and always rigorously thoughtful. Clearly, she has no place on today’s college campus. She’s an unsafe space personified. Heaven ( are we allowed to say that?) forbid any precious dears be exposed to viewpoints different from inspected, tested, and approved progressive orthodoxy. They might have to suffer the inconvenience and indignity of thinking.