Phi Beta Cons

Here’s a Prof Who is Both Anti-Semitic and Anti-Free Speech

Thirty years ago or so, how many people would have said that anti-Semitism would be surging on American campuses in 2016? It certainly is, and in this Minding the Campus essay, NAS president Peter Wood points to a truly appalling Rutgers professor who manages to combine hatred of Israel with an unhinged notion about free speech.

The professor is Jasbir Puar, who teaches Women’s and Gender Studies at New Jersey’s flagship university. She is the author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times and likes giving inflammatory talks on college campuses. Ah, but she tells audience members that she doesn’t want them to record her talk. When officials at Fordham insisted that public talks have to allow recording and that they would do it, she backed out.

Puar has plenty of supporters in academia, including Yale professor Jason Stanley, who in a recent Chronicle Review essay made the case that free speech is a fallacy. Wood absolutely nails it, writing, “The core of the problem is that anti-Israel propagandists such as Puar and other ’social justice advocates’ want a double standard. They demand the right to speak, but they want none of the responsibility for having their views held up to ordinary standards of evidence and argument, or their words made accessible to audiences beyond their chosen venues.”

Read the whole essay.

And, apropos of my post yesterday regarding Oberlin’s Joy Karenga, maybe Rutgers should rethink the idea of having a Women’s and Gender Studies department.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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