ON CASUAL RELATIONSHIPS

My latest YDN column, on real and imagined threats to academic freedom, is on-line here:

This is the academic freedom being touted by the right: The right of the supporters of the most powerful man in the world not to hear him criticized too harshly, or too irreverently, or outside of the appropriate context. Here conservatives themselves are demanding what they once claimed the hated political-correctness legions were calling for: the right not to be made uncomfortable. The term “politically correct” itself was popularized by Dinesh D’Souza, who wrote a book arguing that racism is merely “rational discrimination” by whites with a justified fear of “black cultural defects.” D’Souza is now a political analyst for that supposed bastion of political correctness, CNN. Working the referee has its advantages. The greater irony, perhaps, is that while Horowitz’s campaign has been grabbing headlines, the real academic freedom — which depends on professors’ ability to speak out without fearing for their jobs — has been steadily eroded by academic casualization.

Here’s hoping it draws at least one angry letter from a Yale Free Press editor and another from someone who doesn’t like GESO very much.

From the archives: More on campus conservative persecution claims and unionizing teaching assistants.

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