Many... many... many times...
Still Trying to Wise Up the Morons...
William McGurn writing in the WSJ
* * *
How is it that the louder the calls for “civility,” the less civil the behavior?
* WHEN THE LEFT CALLS FOR "CIVILITY" WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS, "SHUT UP AND SURRENDER! OR ELSE!"
On American campuses today, the call for civility has become the cry of the craven.
So basic, so decent, so safe does civility sound that it’s hard to imagine anyone’s opposing it.
Until, that is, the uncivilized rise up, at which point — from the University of Missouri to Claremont McKenna and Yale — those in charge either acknowledge their guilt or hurl themselves onto the funeral pyre of resignation prepared for them.
As Hillary Clinton alluded to in Saturday night’s Democratic debate, for some Americans the latest student unrest awakens fond memories of the 1960s.
In truth those were far more tumultuous times, with the frenzies of the sexual revolution, the civil-rights movement and the Vietnam War all converging on our campuses at about the same time.
The more dispiriting comparison with the 1960s, alas, has less to do with the self-indulgence of the young than the learned fecklessness of the older and presumably wiser.
Across the country the coddled activists — sans culottes with iPhones — have rendered college presidents, chancellors and deans unable or unwilling to challenge the moral superiority of the mob. A pity, because even the 1960s gave us examples worth emulating.
* THE SELF-PROCLAIMED - AND FRAUDULENTLY PROCLAIMED AT THAT - "MORAL SUPERIORITY" OF THE LEFTIST MOB.
Start with 1968 at San Francisco State College. In the teeth of raging protests that had already claimed the scalps of his two immediate predecessors, a linguistics professor named S.I. Hayakawa became acting president — and a national hero - when he climbed atop a sound truck and ripped out wires to the speakers protesters were using to shout him down.
(*TWO THUMBS UP*)
Or John Silber! When activists in 1972 tried to block students from meeting with Marine recruiters, the Boston University president showed up with a bullhorn to direct those interfering with their fellow students’ right to interview where they should line up to be arrested.
(*RAISING THE DOUBLE "THUMBS-UP" EVEN HIGHER*)
Perhaps most successful was the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame. Though by this time a dove on Vietnam, he believed the universities played an important role in training the nation’s military officers. At one point he prevented protesters from burning down the school’s ROTC building. In November 1968, protesters staged a lie-in aimed at blocking other students from job interviews with Dow Chemical and the CIA. Father Hesburgh was appalled by the idea of forcing a fellow student to walk across your body because you disagree with him. Scarcely three months later, he would issue a letter to the entire campus community — a letter reprinted in this paper and the New York Times. The Hesburgh letter recognized “the validity of protest” but made clear that any group that “substituted force for rational persuasion, be it violent or nonviolent,” would be given 15 minutes to meditate. Students who persisted would have their IDs confiscated and be “suspended from this community.”
* "AMEN," FATHER!
Father Hesburgh went on: “There seems to be a current myth that university members are not responsible to the law, and that somehow the law is the enemy, particularly those whom society has constituted to uphold and enforce the law. I would like to insist here that all of us are responsible to the duly constituted laws of this University community and to all of the laws of the land. There is no other guarantee of civilization versus the jungle or mob rule, here or elsewhere.”
The Times called his letter “the toughest policy on student disruptions yet by any major American university in the course of recent disorders.”
An editorial in this paper further noted Father Hesburgh’s warning that if the universities didn’t get their act together, they would invite “unwholesome reactions” from others - including government.
History has by and large vindicated Father Hesburgh.
(At the time, it was a different story. A Wall Street Journal news story reported a “majority” of university administrators rejecting Father Hesburgh’s stand and predicting (incorrectly) it would prove a “prescription for disaster.”)
* MORONS... MORONS... MORONS... MORONS...
“Confrontation,” read the Journal news story, “is what administrators fervently seek to avoid.”
* THEN RETIRE! OR RESIGN! (YOU MORONS, YOU!)
Then as now, what those avoiding confrontation did not understand is that civility and free expression do not occur in a state of nature: They require ground rules that must be enforced.
So where are we today?
At Yale, students "provoked" by a faculty member insufficiently sensitive to potentially offensive Halloween costumes have called for the head of said teacher along with a list of other demands for more diversity, apologies and self-criticism from the top. On cue, Yale President Peter Salovey calls for "civility" and has repeated Yale’s commitment to free expression.
But... at a moment when people thirst for a university president who will back up his words... Mr. Salovey, like so many others, apologizes.
“We have failed you,” he told protesters.