Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Ivy League professors band together in letter encouraging students to reject "groupthink"
The letter goes on to address a point we raised in an editorial this week, urging students to resist the urge to follow the Left's lead and broaden the definition of terms like "bigot" to incriminate non-bigots, a strategy that often results in the censorship of anti-liberal viewpoints on campus.
"Merriam-Webster's first definition of the word ‘bigot' is a person ‘who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices,'" the professors stated. "The only people who need fear open-minded inquiry and robust debate are the actual bigots, including those on campuses or in the broader society who seek to protect the hegemony of their opinions by claiming that to question those opinions is itself bigotry."
The letter's signatories include the widely-respected Princeton philosopher Robbie George, psychologist Paul Bloom, and Nicholas Christakis, the professor who was famously berated by enraged students in 2015 for opposing efforts to censor offensive Halloween costumes.
On the cusp of what's sure to be another tense school year throughout the country, with more professors and students seeking to silence political dissent, the message in this letter is one students desperately need to hear.
◼ It can be read in full here.