“They know best, after all.”
Only a tertiary connection to the topic, I know, but I just got done listening to Obama’s Howard Univ. speech. While there is no doubt that he is a captivating orator, one thing kept striking me. The repeated refrain to the students, that they needed to “listen” to those that they disagree with, and not try to have speakers who think differently from you banned from campus, b/c, as his grandmother used to say “Don’t do that…Every time fool speaks they are just advertising their own ignorance. Let them talk.”
He is speaking to predominantly black audience, in Washington D.C.; in other words, he is speaking to a overwhelmingly liberal audience. And he is, not essentially, but very clearly saying that those who disagree with you are fools and are ignorant. He also said, repeatedly, that compromise with those that you disagree with was important because otherwise you wont get done what you want to have done.
But at NO point, was there any talk of “listen to, and compromise with, people that you disagree with because maybe, just maybe, they may have points that you have not considered. Maybe, just maybe, they may actually be right.” No, it was: “you, by virtue of being part of the groups you are part of, and thinking the way that you do, are always on the side of being right, but that matters none if you cannot compromise with, and tolerate, the obstructionists. You are compromising, not b/c your opponents may have valid points, but rather b/c you can’t let perfect be the enemy of good….and everything you think is perfect/good”.
After 7 1/2 years, it’s still just diversity of skin color…but never of thought. THIS is why I choose to be most minority of all minorities: The black conservative.
(Aka, the polar bear’s nose in a snowstorm)
Not a comment on the post so much as on the underlying conditions that spawned it, Ethics Alarms reader Chris Bentley weighed in on the lack of ideological diversity on campus and the fact that many leaders both educational and political think that’s just fine. The key question: do you listen to an argument against what you may believe with an open mind, or a closed one? The ethical answer is “Open,” but the predominant mindset on college campuses believes there isn’t any question to that effect.. Wrong is wrong, and the Left is Right, so the the only question is, “Do you allow those with wrong ideas speak at all?”
It is terrifying that universities, of all places, would ever consider that issue unsettled in the United States of America.
Here is Chris Bentley’s Comment of the Day inspired by the post, Dear Harvard: Fire President Drew Faust And Dean Rakesh Khurana: