Tuesday, April 07, 2009
AAUP President Cary Nelson is wondering where the limit to the heckler's veto is. Yet on our campus we have a heckler's veto, as witnessed by the "wall" created in reaction to an ugly racist smear left on a classroom project. Allowing Churchill, Ayers, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or George Rockwell to a campus is permitted, says Prof. Nelson, but because the student(?) who wrote on that wall has no constituency, we can heckle him to our hearts' content?
The students of that class that created the project are now distributing green bracelets to represent WE ARE ONE: NO HATE ON CAMPUS". Really? I am curious why Prof. Nelson failed to put David Horowitz on his list? They certainly know each other.
I am willing to have Bill Ayers speak at SCSU. Happy, in fact. You take the power away from monsters by demystifying them. But we so fear our own reaction to monsters that we instead erect walls, and then we have the Cary Nelsons decide whose wall we should tear down: a plagiarist, a cop-killer, the president of a fascist organization, the anti-Semite president of a country, or a student who writes an ugly racist epithet. Who benefits? Not the plagiarist or the cop-killer. Not the Rockwells or Ahmadinejads. And certainly not the student.
Labels: higher education