August 29, 2017

A FEW BRAVE PROFS (VERY FEW): Fifteen professors at Harvard, Yale and Princeton have written an open letter urging students to resist campus orthodoxy. “Think for yourself,” they urge. James Freeman at the WSJ calls this good news, and I guess it is these days. But why does this even need to be said? And what about the rest of the professoriate? There are at least 3,000 faculty members (and as many as 8,000, depending on who’s counting whom as faculty) at these three universities, which means the 15 signatories represent, at most, one-half of one percent of the faculty. Maybe the other 99.5 percent could not be reached for comment in their safe spaces.

Meanwhile, Yale’s president, Peter Salovey (definitely not a signatory), has found yet another way to beclown himself and his school. It was bad enough when Yale covered up a Puritan’s musket in a stone carving on the wall of its library (at the behest of a committee of censors responsible for shielding students’ eyes from art that was “not appropriate”). Yale was widely mocked for this vandalism, and even Salovey managed to be embarrassed. ““Such alteration represents an erasure of history, which is entirely inappropriate at a university,” he proclaimed.

His brilliant solution: Take down the whole piece of art! It will be moved (with the musket brazenly uncovered) to “an as-yet-undecided location where it will be available for study and viewing,” the Yale Daily News solemnly reports, without a hint that anyone at the newspaper realizes what a farce this is. Maybe they’ll get the joke when they see it on a future episode of “The Simpsons,” whose writers are in deep debt to Salovey and his sensitive students.