Kudos to the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof
Something everyone has known about for a long time, but only conservatives discuss, is the blatant and unabashed discrimination on the part of the “enlightened” classes against anyone whose politics are not sufficiently progressive.
American academics in the humanities and social sciences who do not toe the party line on issues of race, religion, sexuality, rape, euthanasia, abortion, BDS and, most recently, bathroom-gender-identity, know they had better keep a low profile if they want to hold on to their jobs — certainly if they are hoping for tenure.
Students, too, learn early on what is expected of them in class and on campus where grades and popularity are concerned. Indeed, it is easier these days for a kid to be open about bed-wetting than voting Republican.
This is just as true in Israel as it is in the United States, with slight variations. Arab professors at Israeli universities, for example, would be more prone to kill a transgender who came anywhere near their toilet stalls than fight for the right of someone to decide which restroom to frequent. Meanwhile, their leftist Jewish colleagues would be too busy joining them in denouncing Israel as an apartheid state to be preoccupied with urinal woes. But the principle is the same.
It was a complete shock, then, when the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof admitted as much on Sunday. In his piece, “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance,” Kristof exposed the hypocrisy of his fellow “progressives,” who “believe in diversity” and “want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservatives.”
Yes, said Kristof, “We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.”
One case he highlighted was that of African-American sociologist George Yancey, an evangelical Christian who faces far more problems in academia due to his religious beliefs than he did outside the university as a result of being black.
Kristof also pointed to the “scornful reaction” he received when he wondered aloud on social media “whether universities stigmatize conservatives and undermine intellectual diversity.”
One respondent replied: “The truth has a liberal slant.” Another answered, “Why stop there? How about we make faculties more diverse by hiring idiots?”
To Kristof, “The conversation illuminated primarily liberal arrogance — the implication that conservatives don’t have anything significant to add to the discussion. My Facebook followers have incredible compassion for war victims in South Sudan, for kids who have been trafficked, even for abused chickens, but no obvious empathy for conservative scholars facing discrimination.”
Kristof bemoaned this on many levels, particularly that concerning the quality of education. “When perspectives are unrepresented in discussions, when some kinds of thinkers aren’t at the table, classrooms become echo chambers rather than sounding boards — and we all lose,” he wrote. “Universities should be a hubbub of the full range of political perspectives from A to Z, not just from V to Z. So maybe we progressives could take a brief break from attacking the other side and more broadly incorporate values that we supposedly cherish — like diversity — in our own dominions.”
People who are forced to hide or go on the defensive about their positions, no matter how often they turn out to be right, are keenly aware of this topsy-turvy state of affairs. They exist in an Orwellian universe governed by a totalitarian minority attempting to impose its way of thinking on everyone in its orbit. So powerful is this stealthy behemoth that it manages to infect whole swaths of society with little effort. Or so it seems to those of us who expend a lot of energy searching for the antidote, usually to little or no avail. We are left, then, with no recourse but to sing to the choir and pray for world events to do the real work for us.
Kudos to Kristof for acknowledging our predicament.
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.