College Liberals Judged a Book by its Cover…Literally!

From a great col­umn by George F. Will today.

This is just the lede.

In 2007, Keith John Samp­son, a middle-aged stu­dent work­ing his way through Indi­ana University-Purdue Uni­ver­sity Indi­anapo­lis as a jan­i­tor, was declared guilty of racial harass­ment. With­out grant­ing Samp­son a hear­ing, the uni­ver­sity admin­is­tra­tion — act­ing as pros­e­cu­tor, judge and jury — con­victed him of “openly read­ing [a] book related to a his­tor­i­cally and racially abhor­rent subject.”

Openly.” “Related to.” Good grief.

The book, “Notre Dame vs. the Klan,” cel­e­brated the 1924 defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a fight with Notre Dame stu­dents. But some of Sampson’s co-workers dis­liked the book’s cover, which fea­tured a black-and-white pho­to­graph of a Klan rally. Some­one was offended, there­fore some­one else must be guilty of harassment.

The col­umn also fea­tures the actions last year at the Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Madison when the provost urged stu­dents to show up and protest a speaker invited on cam­pus to talk about a pend­ing Supreme Court case on col­lege affir­ma­tive action.  The stu­dents man­aged to com­pletely shut down the event (which the admin­is­tra­tion called “awesome”).

Diversity’s great, if it is about mak­ing sure a nearly 90 per­cent white state like Wis­con­sin has minori­ties at its top con­fer­ence — if they qual­ify to be there just like any­one else.  If should not be a rea­son used to jus­tify the shut­ting down debate.

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