“When the drama surrounding the showing of a movie is more intense than the drama in the movie itself, something has gone wrong. Especially when a university of all places is involved,” Nick Gillespie writes at Reason:
Yesterday, Reason reported that the University of Michigan pulled a planned showing of the Oscar-winning movie American Sniper after students protested that the Clint Eastwood flick “not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim…rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer.”
Michigian administrators responded by spiking the movie and replacing it with, no sh**, Paddington. Then they semi-relented and announced:
plans to show “American Sniper” in a separate location from the UMix program, in what it said would be “a forum that provides an appropriate space for dialogue and reflection.”
Now comes news that, no, no, the university—generally regarded as one an outstanding academic institution—will now show American Sniper as planned.
As Gillespie writes, “in an era of trigger warnings and micro-aggressions, there comes to a time when, to paraphrase American Sniper director Clint Eastwood in a very different context, an institution’s got to know its limitations and start standing up for free speech and open intellectual inquiry.”
Don’t hold your breath, Nick. The number of university administrators left who actually believe in that are so small, they were profiled by Glenn Reynolds in his USA Today column this week. (OK, that’s likely an exaggeration, but still.)
Instead, for free speech and open intellectual inquiry, look to…the football coach:
Michigan Football will watch “American Sniper”! Proud of Chris Kyle & Proud to be an American & if that offends anybody then so be it!
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) April 9, 2015
I’m sure there are more than a few San Francisco residents who need therapy reading that the former 49ers coach is a fan of American Sniper. I wonder if the York family also reached for their collective smelling salts? Oh, and finally:
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 8, 2015