Mytheos Holt Weighs in on the Affirmative Action Bake Sale

With all the activism and discussion going on around campus recently, such as about race, upperclassmen might have had an empty feeling at the bottom of their stomachs.  It wasn’t like this before.  Something… maybe you didn’t know what… was missing from this political discussion compared to ones in previous years.

The answer is: Mytheos Holt ’10, the voice you could trust to always show a conservative/Republican point of view that horrified some Wesleyan students.  He may be off campus, but he’s not going away.  He has his own opinion on the Cardinal Conservative’s Affirmative Action Bake Sale, over at the National Review Online. Analyzing Prof. Potter’s email to one of the organizers of the bake sale, he concludes:

So let me get this straight. If a form of political speech might possibly offend minority students and their “allies” (whatever that means), that form of political speech is de facto racist, regardless of whether it relies on true premises, or makes a cogent point. This kind of reason-averse tribalism might be understandable from some junior, tenure-deprived pup looking to score points in her ethnic-studies department, but for a full, tenured professor in the history department to send this to a student (who I understand is an underclassman, to boot) is, well, just a little disturbingly overzealous.

Read the full post here.

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  • Wes Alum

    As someone who now works as an admissions officer at a highly selective institution, I can tell you that most people who protest affirmative action don’t understand it. We never look at a student and say “well, they’re white, so they have to have even higher scores and grades to get in.” Institutions like Wesleyan practice holistic admissions, where they look at all parts of an applicant: grades, classes, test scores, extracurriculars, race, socioeconomic class, essay, interview, recommendations, personal qualities, etc. Race certainly is one of these factors, but we don’t have set quotas or set standards based on it. Rather, we try to project how a student would contribute to a campus.

    If someone is a student of color, then they would have grown up with unique experiences that they could share with the community, the same way a student who is white and from North Dakota has unique experiences, a first-generation to college white student has unique experiences, or a concert cellist has unique experiences. We try to build a community with people from all sorts of different backgrounds and all sorts of different experiences so that students can learn just as much from each other as their professors.

    But the key thing to know is that before we factor race/class/extracurriculars/personal qualities/etc. we make sure that a student is academically qualified to be at the institution. About 3/4 of most applicants could do fine at the institution they look at, but at Wesleyan, they accept less than 20%. So before even taking into account race, admissions officers have made sure that the student could succeed academically. The entire notion that students of color are less qualified to be at elite colleges and universities is not only ludicrous, it’s hurtful as well.

    What the affirmative action bake sale tells me is that the no one from the Cardinal Conservatives has bothered to speak with anyone from the admissions office to ask how affirmative action takes place. Had they done so, they might not have put on such a viscerally divisive protest.

  • acknight

    As someone who who works in the admissions office, I can’t tell you how many white, upperclass students from New England come into the office and say that they want to go to a school that is diverse. They say they are sick of being in places where everyone looks and thinks in the same way. Frankly, Wesleyan’s commitment to diversity, from a business standpoint is a response to consumer demand. Without certain efforts or initiatives to seek out and and select competitive students of color, low-income, and sexually non-conforming individuals, Wesleyan would continue to replicate power dynamics of the larger society ie. middle/upper-middle class, heterosexual, white men and a few white women, but ironically, those same people are asking/ looking for something else. Additionally, race, like legacy and athletic ability, and gender is but one factor of the many that decided admissions. Wesleyan doesn’t have the luxury of being colorblind because that isn’t the reality of the world we live in. Resources and access fall along decidedly colored lines.

    • Um WHAT?

      This has to be the most incoherent thing I’ve read all night. Never mind all the unsubstantiated assertions in it; the issue isn’t whether white, upperclass students are comfortable with the practice, the issue is whether that practice is remotely consistent with Wesleyan’s mission as an educational institution. I take your point that this is a response to consumer demand, but to frankly admit that you take people just because white, upperclass students want to go to school with them is pretty clearly an admission that Wesleyan has no interest in admitting the most qualified class, but simply the one that’s most likely to allow the students to engage in race and class tourism. That should offend people on both sides of the political spectrum, and it’s unbelievably cynical.

    • Disgusting

      So in other words, the diversity candidates are there as decoration to make the school more appealing to upper-class white students. Charming.

    • anonymous

      A lot of posters have been discussing “gender” in these categories— true, when colleges and universities were first opened up to women and made co-educational, there was a policy of admitting women through affirmative action. This still happens at serious tech/science schools. But in liberal arts schools and the majority of college campuses, MEN are the “affirmative action” demographic, as most people want to go to a school that has a gender ratio close to 50-50 and there are WAY more qualified female candidates in this nation than male candidates.
      So… doesn’t really change your argument, just worth noting. Those “minority” or otherwise oppressed groups don’t always stay that way. Sometimes they kick ass.

  • not. original. or clever.

    someone at my high school had an affirmative action bake sale in 2004.

  • Independent

    A legitimate effort towards improving all American public schools would do much more to aid underrepresented people of color than Affirmative Action ever will. “Progressive” politicians use Affirmative Action as a pacifier. It allows them to appear as if they are taking great strides towards equality when, in reality, they are continuing to neglect our public schools, especially those that serve primarily students of color. Fixing our public school system will take hard work and acts of real political courage, such as questioning teachers unions, analyzing and considering our “choice” options (vouchers, charter schools, etc.), and destroying the bureaucracy that siphons endless funds and attention from our schools.

    I consider myself to be a conservative independent. I oppose AA on the grounds that, rather than eliminating institutionalized racism, it allows politicians (of every party) be continue to be lazy and self-serving. Name one politician who has successfully gone above and beyond in order to guarantee that the fight for equality, especially educational equality, does not stop with Affirmative Action.

    I wish I had had the opportunity to say this to my fellow schoolmates, but I was more or less drowned out.

    • anon

      politicians are working on fixing the public school and the urban system (the DOE, Teach For America, Let’s get Ready and other publicly funded programs) but as you said, it takes a long time and a lot of effort. In the mean time, one might as well help out disadvantaged people in the college admissions process who haven’t yet benefited from the reform

  • Amazed at the Ignorance:

    A lot of things have been ignored and are being misrepresented involving this situation..
    the reason people of color at the school are upset is because it was supposed to be an Anti-Affirmative Action event, yet only discussed ONE aspect of Affirmative Action, which was RACE.
    The student who ran the event at the school is actually on a scholarship here formed from an Affirmative Action program, which is ironic and clearly shows how she is simply targeting students of color; because her scholarship if for high-achieving students with a low-income background, and yet apparently she forgot that she was benefiting from the thing she’s fighting against.
    The student ignored the fact that not only do people of color benefit from this policy, but also women, people in poverty, people with different religious backgrounds, etc.
    SO basically she pulled a conservative move by trying to flap her mouth about something she was too ignorant to do the research on, and simply targeted a certain group of people within the school.
    Therefore, it WAS racist and ignorant of her to hold such an event, and it was IRRELEVANT because WESLEYAN DOES NOT HAVE AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY FOR STUDENTS! Only faculty.
    Yet thankfully Wesleyan does have a priority of diversity on campus and it is not through any laws or policies in which they are doing so; simply because they know it IS important to have a diverse, cultured environment at a University!

    • Aw, HELL Naw

      “the reason people of color at the school are upset is because it was supposed to be an Anti-Affirmative Action event, yet only discussed ONE aspect of Affirmative Action, which was RACE. ”
      True, and that was probably a good move, because race-based affirmative action doesn’t hold water.

      “The student who ran the event at the school is actually on a scholarship here formed from an Affirmative Action program, which is ironic and clearly shows how she is simply targeting students of color; because her scholarship if for high-achieving students with a low-income background, and yet apparently she forgot that she was benefiting from the thing she’s fighting against.
      The student ignored the fact that not only do people of color benefit from this policy, but also women, people in poverty, people with different religious backgrounds, etc. ”
      Finally, someone’s getting to the bottom of this! What kind of affirmative action it is actually matters. $60,000 a year to someone who previously did not make enough to rent an apartment quantifiably matters more than $60,000 a year to someone who has access to a large reserve of family finances. Better yet, what if the poor person’s white and the wealthy one black? Chalk up another one for race-based affirmative action, right?

      “WESLEYAN DOES NOT HAVE AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY FOR STUDENTS! Only faculty.”
      How do you know this? Also, I’m curious about the AA program for faculty, which is news to me.

      • anonymous

        And the weight given to legacies?
        To wealthy students?
        Athletes?
        Students with famous parents?
        The enormous weigh put on geography in the admissions process?
        Students with legacy, rich parents, and coming from underrepresented states, and dumb jocks also have a HUGE leg up in the admissions process. When you only attack “affirmative action,” you come off as ignorant and prejudiced because you are attacking the ONLY program that the admissions offices use to help reach underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. If your intention is a FAIR ADMISSIONS PROCESS, you must address all these factors together.

        • Aw, HELL Naw

          I find all of those patently unfair too, of course. I don’t have to address all those together because those aren’t the topic at hand, unless you want to count them as forms of affirmative action, which is fine by me. You can’t say I support everything else just because I’m not talking about it.

          Also, how is weight in the admissions process given to the wealthy with need-blind admissions?

    • Anon

      To me, a “priority of diversity” and an AA policy are one in the same when applied to college admissions. As long as there is are questions on the common app or Wes supplement that ask about race and other demographics, there will continue to be preference shown for under represented groups (including low income, first generation college, etc) in college admissions. I am a huge supporter of a diverse campus, but I am not naive enough to think that race does not effect admission to Wesleyan. Just because there is no written Wesleyan AA policy or demographic quotas does not mean that such quotas or policies are enacted in the admissions process. I think race questions would have to be eliminated from college applications if we were to practice true racial equality.

  • Aw, HELL Naw

    To former President Kush:
    “all it did was reproduce the visceral feeling of discrimination.” Yes, the feeling of race-based discrimination (for example, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION) sucks. That’s the point.
    “a more accurate protest would have brownies taken from blacks and given to whites to represent slavery, share-cropping,” These don’t happen anymore, unlike affirmative action.

    “furthermore, to argue with the kid rhetorically, should we let the Wesleyan Segregationists or the Wesleyan Aryan League stage a protest in the name of allowing activism? no, you must admit that there are some positions which are out of bounds.” No, I don’t have to admit that, especially if I give a shit about free speech.

    To some Anon:
    “they’re still promoting institutional racism by not supporting the programs necessary to even begin to get us out of the racist rut we’re in. Calling AA a form of discrimination is true in the sense that it treats people of different races differently, but calling it discrimination is unfairly giving it a negative connotation. In the end, AA helps racial equality. The end.” Bzzt. Race-based AA justly deserves a negative connotation. The assumption that individuals are more deserving of a spot at a university or a job BECAUSE OF THEIR RACE is unfair and circumventing a real solution. “The end.”

    As an aside, a lot of you who are saying this _doesn’t_ raise intellectual discussion have to be kidding me. If they hadn’t done this, none of us would be thinking about this issue more than we already do on a daily basis, and we certainly wouldn’t have had all the discussion that’s come up from it in the last couple of weeks. At least Concerned has some idea of what’s going on.

    • Anonymous

      This is “some Anon.”

      AA doesn’t necessarily make the assumption that individuals are more deserving of a spot at a university or job because of their race (though I do believe that to often be the case as well). It is simply an effort to have racial minorities better represented as professors, leaders, politicians, etc. in the future, so that future generations of racial minorities will be able to see themselves in these positions, and thereby even the playing field to some small extent. No one is saying that because someone is Black, they necessarily have experienced lots of discrimination and therefore deserve a spot at Wesleyan as a reward; advocates of AA are simply saying that having Blacks occupy a more representative fraction of the nation’s academically successful people will help even out the racial achievement gap over time.

      • Aw, HELL Naw

        “AA doesn’t necessarily make the assumption that individuals are more deserving of a spot at a university or job because of their race ”
        Yes, it does. When you have more applicants than there are positions, as in a generic college admissions situation, you are necessarily going to exclude some people in favor of others, those others being whoever you most want to take the positions. The only way to “have racial minorities better represented” in this process to choose them over people who aren’t racial minorities. Favoring some applicants because of their race necessitates shunning others for the same reason. I don’t know how you could argue that’s not racist.

        “(though I do believe that to often be the case as well)”
        I hope it’s obvious to someone else why I find this statement problematic.

        • anonymous

          Calm down, calm down.

          The goal of our society should not be to ensure that each program and action is driven by a “color-blind” policy, but that AMERICAN SOCIETY AS A WHOLE allows for equal opportunities based on a meritocracy. You cannot remove this debate from its historical and modern context. You simply cannot talk about Affirmative Action in isolation, pretending that the enormous ramifications of slavery, sharecropping, jim crowe, and the profound history of racial discrimination in this nation did not occur!

          Whites (I should know, I am one) are handed countless opportunities and given countless advantages, and not only upper-class ones. It is simple. Racism still exists. If we wanted a “color blind” society, we should begin with elementary school education and high school to ensure that all students of color are given equal opportunities BEFORE the college process. But they are not. Racism still exists. It is complex. It is not selling brownies to black people for fifty cents.

          Affirmative Action works. It has increased the enrollment of minority students in higher education exponentially. If it means that a white guy has to go to Trinity instead of Princeton, I don’t really care. For centuries whites have risen on the backs of people of color, and I see nothing wrong with saying, “Jeeze, that was kind of unfair. Maybe we ought to allow minorities into our institutions.”

          Not to mention, the exceptional education that I received at Wesleyan was largely from my peers, not my professors. Thank god that there were students from such a multitude of backgrounds and life experiences. Thank god the world is not as simple as the Cardinal Conservatives would like it to be.

          • Anonymous2

            I wish more people on your side made arguments like this instead of just calling the CCs racist. That’d be nice. I get the feeling there’s more complexity to this issue than both sides want to acknowledge.

          • Aw, HELL Naw

            First of all, I’m glad the level of thought behind these responses is scaling up. Second of all, a few things:

            “You cannot remove this debate from its historical and modern context. You simply cannot talk about Affirmative Action in isolation, pretending that the enormous ramifications of slavery, sharecropping, jim crowe, and the profound history of racial discrimination in this nation did not occur!”
            It’s a fair enough point that I can’t talk about it out out of context, but a history of racial discrimination does not make it okay to actively pursue racial discrimination in the opposite direction. Two wrongs in “opposite directions” do not make a right, even if one side is significantly larger than the other in “total wrongdoing.”

            I’m totally in agreement with you that the problem should be addressed at the very beginning, from elementary school on up. And yes, often they are not (not always, though). This still doesn’t justify actively choosing some qualified candidates over others by a measure that has nothing to do with their qualifications. You can’t assume that the legacy of racism in the U.S. applies equally to all whose ancestors have experienced discrimination, or who have experienced it themselves. Individual people have individual stories, which affirmative action neatly glosses over by making sure you’ve checked the right box.

            “Affirmative Action works. It has increased the enrollment of minority students in higher education exponentially. If it means that a white guy has to go to Trinity instead of Princeton, I don’t really care.” I don’t recall ever disputing the effectiveness of AA, just its morality. The second sentence here is a silly argument. All other things held equal, why is it not a big deal if a white guy goes to Trinity instead of Princeton, but something needs to be fixed if a black guy goes to Trinity instead of Princeton? It’s a moot point.

            “For centuries whites have risen on the backs of people of color, and I see nothing wrong with saying, “Jeeze, that was kind of unfair. Maybe we ought to allow minorities into our institutions.” ”
            Sure, but that means stopping racist admissions processes, not beginning them in the other direction.

          • my opinion

            This is one of the best, most coherent arguments against affirmative action that I have heard yet, but nevertheless I am still pro-affirmative action, at least at this point in time.

            “This still doesn’t justify actively choosing some qualified candidates over others by a measure that has nothing to do with their qualifications.”
            If there are a disproportionate amount of applicants per spots in competitive schools, not all of the qualified students would get accepted anyway. If affirmative action didn’t exist, universities would find some other possibly more arbitrary means of weeding out qualified students. Are you suggesting that admissions counselors put all the high-caliber candidates in a lottery system to determine who gets in? If you’re required to reject qualified students, you may as well do it in a way that narrows the achievement gap

  • anon

    Wait, wait wait. I thought Mytheos said last year he was trolling all of us the whole time about being so conservative…?

    • Anonymous2

      Nope, Mytheos pretty clearly said he was always a conservative Republican in the column you’re referring to. The “trolling” was more his style of arguing for it, I think. Like, he wanted to mimic how liberal students argue in his column, or some shit. That’s what I got out of the article, anyway.

  • Concerned

    I am a supporter of affirmative action, but I think the bake sale was misunderstood by the student body. The conservative students, regardless of the extremely emotional response they provoked, were trying to make an ANTI-RACIST statement by protesting racial bias in admissions policies (I do not know the details of the actual policies they were protesting, so I won’t comment on the accuracy of their claims). This does not necessarily mean that they resent minorities, or that minority students accepted under such policies are unqualified, but rather that they think racially biased policies, regardless of their social effects, are inherently discriminatory. It’s a basic libertarian argument, and in a purely intellectual sense it is true. Racial bias is always a form of discrimination, no matter who it affects. I, however, am not a libertarian, and I believe affirmative action is necessary to help lessen the wider form of discrimination already inherent in the racial structure of society. Nevertheless, I think it is unfair to label the conservatives as racist. It is an inappropriately personal attack, and it cheapens the debate over a legitimate and nuanced issue.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t fall into their trap – they can call themselves and their viewpoints “anti-racist,” but they’re still promoting institutional racism by not supporting the programs necessary to even begin to get us out of the racist rut we’re in. Calling AA a form of discrimination is true in the sense that it treats people of different races differently, but calling it discrimination is unfairly giving it a negative connotation. In the end, AA helps racial equality. The end.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Anon. Regardless of your stance on the issue, it is entirely inappropriate for a professor to send a personal email to a student attacking him or her personally. Wesleyan is a place for discussion, not for intimidation of any kind. Every qualified has an equal chance to share their thoughts – I remember controversy last year when a group protested the Israeli treatment of Palestine in Usdan and caused a lot of controversy, but there were no emails send from professors who opposed the students. I

    • Anonymous

      If your political stance is one that is objectively wrong, then it is perfectly legitimate for a professor to comment. If you don’t want the voice of truth intervening, then have better political views!

    • Anonymous

      If your political stance is one that is objectively wrong, then it is perfectly legitimate for a professor to comment. If you don’t want the voice of truth intervening, then have better political views!

  • George W. Kush

    furthermore, to argue with the kid rhetorically, should we let the Wesleyan Segregationists or the Wesleyan Aryan League stage a protest in the name of allowing activism? no, you must admit that there are some positions which are out of bounds. the question is where to draw the line, and incoherent racism is where we should start. so offending colored students without a coherent argument should be considered past said line.

    • Another Anon

      I oppose affirmative action for reasons that I consider to not be racist. I believe that students should be admitted to college based entirely on merit, without even mentioning their race on the application. Does that count as incoherent racism?

      • stanley fish

        You’re not a racist, you just fundamentally misunderstand how the world works and no one should take anything you say or think seriously.

      • stanley fish

        that was unnecessarily dismissive and mean, so I apologize. but you are very very wrong about the world. Ian Waldron wrote a very good wespeak about this, and he explains these things with more patience than I have. read it and get yrself educated.

        • Anonymous2

          Waldron’s Wespeak was pathetically short and left more questions open than it answered. Danny Blinderman wrote the best response to this entire thing.

    • Anonymous2

      I don’t think Mytheos is arguing that nothing can be racist. I think he’s saying that hurt feelings on the part of minority students alone don’t prove a protest was intended to be racist. YMMV.

    • WesVoltaire

      I am on the political left, and fairly radical. I support affirmative action as a necessary (and maybe too limited) countermeasure to institutional racism and a historical legacy of oppression which continues to have ramifications. BUT – I strongly disagree with you here. We should allow (the hypothetical) Wesleyan Segregationists or the Wesleyan Aryan to stage whatever kind of (peaceful) protest they like, just as we should allow the Cardinal Conservatives to stage whatever event they like. We should, of course, feel free (and I think would be morally obligated) to pursue whatever avenues counter-protest are open to us. We should call these types of events what they are: racist, counterproductive, and wrong. We should ridicule people who support Aryan or Segregationist positions (neither of which I would accuse the Cardinal Conservatives of supporting). We should not condone their speech or action. But we should not dis-allow it. Along that road lies fascism and it is a slippery slope. If you value a public sphere and free speech, you have to allow for people to use those rights in ways you find abhorrent – it is the price we pay. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

      • George W. Kush

        word, you’re right. while we have the right to keep hypothetical skinhead protests out of campus center legally, being a private institution, i don’t want that intellectual environment. i wouldn’t mind if such hypothetical far right cats got shanked after hours tho…

  • George W. Kush

    he’s such a cunt. i would be down for some actual intellectual conservatives, but i guess conservatism just produces dumb motherfuckers such as these universally. the bottom line is that this protest did not address the underlying causes of social inequality (the legacy of slavery and colonialism) and a brownie does not represent a chance for social improvement, thus making the protest irrelevant. all it did was reproduce the visceral feeling of discrimination. a more accurate protest would have brownies taken from blacks and given to whites to represent slavery, share-cropping, and the modern prison-industrial complex.

    • Anon

      Did you actually just drop the c-word when trying to discuss “social inequality” and the “visceral feeling of discrimination”?

      Yep, you sure did.

      And next time you’re seeking to combat racism, please first understand the more-than-semantic difference between “colored students” and “students of color.” I don’t mean to be aggressively critical of someone who means well but just doesn’t know. But if you’re concerned with these issues, and want to be vocal about them, it’s pretty critical that you understand the significance of your words.

      You need to check yourself.

      • George W. Kush

        yeah, my bad that didn’t occur to me. the colored/ of color distinction is huge….

        the cunt thing i care less about. i feel like, while many people would disagree with me, its an acceptable insult at this point, and doesn’t really in common parlance stand for oppression of women. that distinction IS semantic. maybe i’m wrong tho…

        • Anon

          No, you’re mistaken here. First, it’s considered one of the most offensive words in the English language, even by urbandictionary.com. Second, it’s a highly derogatory term for female genitalia that has historically been used to degrade and dehumanize women by reducing them to their body parts. There’s nothing acceptable about that, especially if you consider yourself dedicated to actively fighting discrimination.

          Please reconsider your stance on this word. By using it you completely undercut your own arguments against discrimination and alienate people who might have been your allies.

        • Anon

          No, you’re mistaken here. First, it’s considered one of the most offensive words in the English language, even by urbandictionary.com. Second, it’s a highly derogatory term for female genitalia that has historically been used to degrade and dehumanize women by reducing them to their body parts. There’s nothing acceptable about that, especially if you consider yourself dedicated to actively fighting discrimination.

          Please reconsider your stance on this word. By using it you completely undercut your own arguments against discrimination and alienate people who might have been your allies.

          • pcu

            urbandictionary.com? There’s a bastion of authority right there.

          • Anon

            I said EVEN by, meaning that even bullshit sources consider it one of the most offensive words in the English language.

            I’m unclear as to why you’re even trying to question/discount what I said. Do you disagree with what I’m saying? Do you have a counter-argument? If so, find something actually incorrect about my statement, and get back to me.

          • pcu

            urbandictionary.com? There’s a bastion of authority right there.

          • banshee

            in ghetto nyc gay culture (i know because i used to be part of the scene) there is nothing wrong with the word cunt. in fact, there is even a voguing style known as “soft cunt” rather than “dramatics,” which is more like what leomy (that trans girl from vogue evolution on ABDC) does. I agree that kush’s use of the word in that context might not be pc, but in certain social circles it’s perfectly acceptable

          • Anon

            I hear you, but I think that unfortunately that has almost nothing to do with what’s going on here. Just because the word has been reclaimed in various contexts, does not mean that just anybody can throw that word around in an un-self-critical way to demean someone. Unless you want to risk being very offensive, and alienating your potential allies, as I mentioned.

            This is an imperfect analogy, but there are some parallels with the n-word. Just because it’s socially acceptable for some people to use it in some contexts, does not mean it’s okay for anyone to use it, and especially not in a derogatory way. And especially not when we’re having a conversation about ending discrimination.

            The point is to respect that many words have their roots in discrimination and oppression, and that to use those words when criticizing someone for being discriminatory is absurd and counter-productive. If you’re actually concerned with ending oppression of all kinds, you have to realize that the words you use, in the specific context that you use them, matter a lot.

  • jens

    “there” stomachs?

  • Anon

    He’s got a point. A professor shouldn’t bitch out a student for stirring up debate.

    • stanley fish

      Professors’ jobs are to educate students. If a student think something indefensible, it’s a professor’s job to clean the gunk out of that student’s brain.

      • Anon

        Even if that “gunk” is a simple difference of opinion?

        • wes junior

          it is not a simple difference of opinion. if i told you that 1 + 1 = 4, it’s just plain wrong regardless of whether it’s my opinion

          • Anon

            That’s a non sequitur. These students didn’t say anything that was factually wrong, just politically incorrect.

    • stanley fish

      Professors’ jobs are to educate students. If a student think something indefensible, it’s a professor’s job to clean the gunk out of that student’s brain.