John Fund has a great post on the firing from the Chronicle of Higher Education of Naomi Riley. Riley wrote a post criticizing Black Studies Programs as “obscure at best . . . a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap at worst.” Over 6000 academics signed a petition demanding that Riley be censored, and she was gone.
Excerpt from Fund's post:
Excerpt from Fund's post:
Nick Cohen is an atheist and former leftist who writes for the Observer andGuardian newspapers in Britain... He warned that many in the West now “surround taboo subjects with a bodyguard of politically correct humbug. This form of self-censorship has had a profound effect on liberalism.” He noted that “censorship is at its most effective when no one admits that it exists. ‘No one else is complaining, so move along now,’ becomes the mantra.”
For decades, academics have demanded tenure, ostensibly not to secure the effectively lifetime employment it creates but to give them the freedom to voice unpopular opinions and conduct research that challenges conventional thinking. Well, Naomi Riley isn’t an academic and didn’t have tenure at theChronicle. But she had a right to express her view, have her employer back her up, and not see her reputation attacked. Few, if any, of her critics actually tried to refute her criticisms of black-studies dissertations. Instead, they sought to shut her up, and in so doing, they sent yet another message that some liberals today have become at least as intolerant of debate as any of the fundamentalists and traditionalists they abhor.Censorship is the cornerstone tactic of the left. They can't win arguments-- note the failure of the left in the medium most suited to arguments, which is talk radio-- so they advance their cause by intimidating people who speak out against them. They sue Christians to silence them in civic life, they sue parents who want an open discussion of evolution in schools, they compare people who question global warming orthodoxy to Holocaust deniers, they call people who believe in a color-blind society racists, and they gag people who point out that their academic niches in Black Studies and Womyn's Studies and various LGBT programs are little more than far-left victimology in drag.
The proper response to censorship is fluent defiance. Every time they try to stop the debate, we need to speak out, even more clearly and with even more passion. The internet is a great medium for defying censorship. The left, at least in the West, hasn't figured out how to silence it. Yet.