In yet another disinvited drama where students get to say what ideas they wish to listen to, Middlebury Campus edition:
Hillcrest 103 was packed beyond standing room, with over 100 in attendance, on Thursday, Nov. 21 when University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Amy Wax gave a lecture, titled “Diverging Family Structure by Class and Race: Economic Hardship, Moral Deregulation or Something Else?” Amid signs proclaiming “racist,” Wax gave a 40-minute presentation followed by a heated question and answer session.
Many students prepared for the lecture’s sensitive material and Wax’s interpretation by carrying signs labeled “Racist.” After seeing the signs, Wax proclaimed that, “It is easy to call people names, and it’s lazy, but what’s hard is to show why they are wrong. I don’t think at an institution of this caliber that’s how people ought to be responding, just with name-calling. Shutting down discussion is not the answer.”
But now get this:
A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Sociology Margaret Nelson noted that though she herself would not bring in signs labeled “racist,” the student sentiment at the moment was significant.
Huh? The prof feels she needs to explain that she would rather carry an argument than a picket sign?
Dear Full Professor Nelson: We had kind of assumed that was true.
But I am dismayed that you have not considered rebuking the students for not following your virtuous example.
Any moron can carry a picket sign. In fact, a guided robot can. What are these students at the U for, if not to learn to think, like you?
It’s no excuse that they are aggrieved/upset about the “lecture’s sensitive material”. The world is full of aggrieved and upset people who can’t respond in an intellectual way. The university exists to train people who can.
Don’t sympathize. Tell them OFF, and make them each write a literate essay responding to Wax’s data and arguments.
A few years from now, they will be thanking you for it.
See also: Elite U no good for u