Phi Beta Cons

Rehnquist Professorship: A Punch in the Stomach

Middlebury is establishing a professorship to honor alum William Rehnquist. Of course many are displeased. Middlebury Campus reports that “students and professors opposed to the new chair last week called the professorship everything from a lapse in the College’s support for diversity to an act of “symbolic violence.”

“Since Middlebury has been making a concerted effort to address issues of diversity in creative ways, it is quite stunning that a professorship has been named after a person who has systematically ruled against those who have historically occupied a very fragile perch with respect to issues of franchise,” said Sujata Moorti, associate professor of women and gender studies.

Another professor:

“There are all sorts of ways of making someone feel insecure, you could punch them in the stomach or you could name a professorship after a justice whose decisions made many people in this country feel less secure.”  “When you name a professorship after someone like [Rehnquist], you commit an act of symbolic violence against people. You make them feel insecure, as if they’ve been punched in the stomach.”

The College President has happily resisted such protests. A professor noted that Renhnquist’s decisions were based on “respectable” constitutional interpretations. As if that matters much to these types.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

‘We Can’t Afford It’

Leon Trotsky — n.b., Millennials: He was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez before she was — understood the power of single-payer systems: “The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.” The socialist powers of Trotsky’s time made good on ... Read More

When the Press Sees Red

You’ve probably seen the viral footage of a Native American beating his drum, surrounded by a crowd of students from Covington Catholic high school. One of them, wearing a MAGA hat, is right in front of him, with a smirk on his face. It was an odd moment combining the end of the March for Life, which the ... Read More