After the disgraceful performance in Congress by the presidents of Harvard, MIT and Penn, the media is trying to spin why they were unable to answer plainly whether calls for the genocide of the Jews would violate their university’s code of conduct.
The media has settled on variations of “the question was confusing”, “universities believe in free speech” and “it’s a trap”.
At a Hearing on Israel, University Presidents Walked Into a Trap – New York Times
That comes from the execrable Michelle Goldberg, the paper’s go-to columnist for rationalizing attacks on Jews.
No, being asked whether your institution is okay with Jewish genocide is not a trap. It’s the least difficult question in the world. If this were the 1970s or even the 2000s when universities still believed to some degree in free speech, maybe you could seriously argue that the university presidents were torn between their commitment to free speech and going Nazi. But it’s 2023.
Students and faculty have as much free speech on contemporary college campuses as they did in the Soviet Union.
We’ve gone from the free speech movement to students being punished for wearing a sombrero or misgendering someone. Professors have been purged for everything from stating that there are two sexes to supporting Israel.
The old Soviet anecdote was of a Russian telling an American that just like him he too can walk up to the Kremlin and denounce President Reagan. That’s the farce that free speech consists of on American campuses today. For leftists, free speech and even violence are nearly unlimited. Want to disrupt a class, assault other students or professors, or call for the deaths of your political opponents, if you’re a leftist, the odds are good that you will get a pass.
Want to express a conservative opinion in even the most timid fashion? Better watch out. Even posting copies of the Bill of Rights or support for the election of President Trump have been treated like hate crimes at some universities.
So the “trap” here was not that university presidents had to decide if their commitment to absolute free speech extended to the call for the mass murder of Jews.
If right-wing students were chanting slogans that could be interpreted as being against black or gay students or immigrants, there would have been a massive crackdown.
The “trap” here was that university presidents had to choose between offending the Left and remaining loyal to the Left.
They predictably chose the latter even if it meant shrugging at Jewish genocide.