Double standard on American college campuses

Lawrence Summers:

It has seemed to me that a vast double standard regarding what constitutes prejudice exists on American college campuses. There is hypersensitivity regarding prejudice against most minority groups but what might be called hyper-insensitivity with respect to anti-Semitism.

At Bowdoin College, holding parties with sombreros and tequila is deemed to be an act of prejudice against Mexicans. At Emory, the chalking of an endorsement of the likely Republican presidential candidate on a sidewalk is deemed to require a review of security tapes. The existence of a college named after a widely admired former US president has under the duress of a student occupation been condemned at Princeton. At Yale, Halloween costumes are the subject of administrative edict. The dean of Harvard Law School has acknowledged that hers is a racist institution, while the freshman dean at Harvard College has used dinner placemats to propagandise the student body on aspects of diversity. Professors acquiesce as students insist that they not be exposed to views on issues like abortion that make them uncomfortable.

As I have discussed in the past, this is in my view inconsistent with basic American values of free speech and open debate. It fails to recognise that a proper liberal education should cause moments of acute discomfort as cherished beliefs are challenged.