Fwd: Conservatives denounce dissent
Reynolds at LIBRA.LAW.UTK.EDU
Tue Nov 13 16:54:55 PST 2001
I don't see a free speech issue here. Criticism is part of free
speech. As someone who takes strong public positions in favor of
both abortion rights and the second amendment, I'm used to
criticism from both the right and left, and don't mind it much, but I
notice that some people now seem to confuse criticism -- at least
when aimed at them or at ideas with which they agree -- with
censorship. Personally, I believe that a member of the academy
should have a thick skin.
Date sent: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 11:38:21 -0800
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From: Lynne Henderson <hendersl at IX.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: Fwd: Conservatives denounce dissent
To: CONLAWPROF at LISTSERV.UCLA.EDU
> Lest free speech issues be seen as only confined to reactions
> to conservative speech, here is an edited article from the Boston Globe
> >Boston Globe
> >Tuesday, Nov 13
> >Conservatives denounce dissent
> >By Patrick Healy, Globe Staff, 11/13/2001
> >A conservative academic group founded by Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice
> >President Dick Cheney, fired a new salvo in the culture wars by blasting 40
> >college professors as well as the president of Wesleyan University and
> >others for not showing enough patriotism in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
> >''College and university faculty have been the weak link in America's
> >response to the attack,'' say leaders of the American Council of Trustees
> >and Alumni in a report being issued today. The report names names and
> >criticizes professors for making statements ''short on patriotism and long
> >on self-flagellation.''
> >Several of the scholars singled out in the report said yesterday they felt
> >blacklisted, complaining that their words had been taken out of context to
> >make them look like enemies of the state.
> >''It's a little too reminiscent of McCarthyism,'' said Hugh Gusterson, an
> >associate professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of
> >Technology. He was named in the report for his comments at a campus peace
> >rally where he made a connection between American suffering after Sept. 11
> >and the suffering in war-torn Afghanistan.
> >The report lists 117 comments or incidents as evidence that campuses are
> >hostile to the US government and out of step with most Americans who,
> >according to polls, support the war in Afghanistan. ''Indeed,'' the report
> >says, ''the message of much of academe was clear: BLAME AMERICA FIRST.''
> > > > > > >snip
> >Anne Neal, an author of the report and council official, said that while she
> >is sure many professors and students support the US government, they are
> >afraid that if they speak out, liberal colleagues might shout them down.
> >''For the most part, public comments in academia were equivocal and often
> >pointing the finger at America rather than the terrorists,'' Neal said.
> >''It's hard for non-tenured professors to speak up when there's such a
> >chorus on the other side.''
> >Among the scholars named in the report, however, several said yesterday the
> >council was carrying out its own political agenda: painting higher education
> >as a bastion of political correctness and trying to silence any criticism of
> >the Bush administration.
> >''These kinds of attacks will only discourage professors from speaking out
> >and opening up dialogues about what's happening overseas, and why,'' said
> >Kevin Lourie, a professor at the Brown University School of Medicine.
> > >>>>snip
> >Douglas Bennet, the president of Wesleyan, was named for a Sept. 14 letter
> >to the Wesleyan community. The letter condemned the terrorist attacks, but
> >the council singled out one passage in which Bennet voiced his concern that
> >''disparities and injustices'' in American society and the world can lead to
> >hatred and violence, and that societies should try to see the world
> >''through the sensitivities of others.''
> >Bennet complained that the report's authors took his comments out of
> >context. He said that he strongly supports the Bush administration's
> >response to the terrorist attacks and that an American flag has hung on the
> >door of his house since Sept. 11.
> > >>>>snip
> >This story ran on page A7 of the Boston Globe on 11/13/2001.
Prof. Glenn Harlan Reynolds
College of Law, University of Tennessee
1505 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996-1810
Attempt no more good than the people can bear. --Thomas Jefferson
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