Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University
You are correct about the reason for an inability to have rational discussions of controversies. Civility (or kindness) is used to censor criticism, which is treated as hate speech. The same pattern exists at city government public meetings. The results are personal attacks toward those who dare to criticize. Lacking the ability to make rational arguments they resort to character assassination. Notice how administrators fear criticizing the nonsensical arguments made by law students who demand an end to "serious racism" at the law school. Remember "Hands Up Don't Shoot," 200 students on the steps of Widener, more at the law school? Washington Post calls it the biggest lie of 2015. You feel me?
Criticism hurts people’s feelings, and it hurts most when the recipient realizes it’s accurate. Treating “kindness” as the way to civil discourse doesn’t show students how to argue with accuracy and respect. It teaches them instead to neither give criticism nor tolerate it.
[. . .]
"Where in the list of ranked values are curiosity, discovery, reason, inquiry, skepticism or truth? (Were these values even options?) Where is critical thinking? No wonder the pledge talks about “attainment.” Attainment equals study cards and good grades -- a transcript to enable the student to move on to the next stage. Attainment isn’t learning, questioning or criticizing. It’s getting your ticket punched."
Harvard Administrators Apologize for Controversial Placemats
Administrators say they failed to respect academic freedom by creating guides for holiday conversation on race
By JALIN P. CUNNINGHAM and IGNACIO SABATE
December 17, 2015
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Harvard has advised students to lecture their non-Ivy-League relatives on liberal values in a bizarre set of holiday placemats to take home over Christmas.
The laminated cards raise some likely hot topics that lesser-educated family members may raise at the dinner table, then offers a suggested response.
Covering such complex issues as police brutality, racial divisions, and the Syrian war, one of the sections tells students to say: 'Racial justice includes welcoming Syrian refugees.'
Now, two deans have come out to apologize for the stunt.
Thomas Dingman, dean of freshmen, and Stephen Lassoed, dean of student life, said in a letter to students on Wednesday: 'We write to acknowledge that the placemat distributed in some of your dining halls this week failed to account for the many viewpoints that exist on our campus on some of the most complex issues we confront as a community and society today.
'Our goal was to provide a framework for you to engage in conversations with peers and family members as you return home for the winter break, however, it was not effectively presented and it ultimately caused confusion in our community.'
Harvard tells its students to spend the holidays lecturing their relatives on police brutality, welcoming Syrian refugees and how its own campus is not 'safe' for blacks
University released laminated cards with questions relatives may ask
Topics covered Islamophobia, police brutality, and racial divisions
It then offers answers on how to respond to the complex questions
Two deans have backed down and apologized for the stunt
By MIA DE GRAAF FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 16:05 EST, 17 December 2015 | UPDATED: 19:53 EST, 17 December 2015
Placemat propaganda: Harvard sorry for giving students tabletop talking points
Published December 17, 2015