Friday, February 11, 2005
On this day:

The Double Standards of the P.C. Brigade

Townhall: Chilling for thee, but not for me Jonah Goldberg
Consider the current flap about [Colorado Professor] Ward Churchill and the recent one about Harvard President Larry Summers. [...] One of the most respected economists in America, president of Harvard University, and the former Secretary of the Treasury, Summers was invited to a closed-door, off-the-record academic conference at which everyone was encouraged to think unconventionally. Warning his audience several times that he was going to be deliberately "provocative," he suggested that there might be some innate cognitive differences between men and women. This is not a controversial hypothesis in macroeconomics, and it is losing its taboo status in psychology, genetics and neuroscience. Thousands of peer-reviewed academic papers have been written on the differences between men and woman when it comes to various cognitive functions. Note I said "differences." Superiority and inferiority don't play into it, and Summers never said otherwise. Indeed, he ventured this hypothesis, after showing his obeisance to the more politically correct explanations: discrimination, not enough effort to recruit women, etc., etc. So what was the reaction? An MIT feminist biologist - who moonlights as a feminist activist - quickly got the vapors and stormed out of the room for fear of fainting. If she stayed any longer, she explained, she'd vomit. Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe compared Summers to people who cavalierly bandy about the N-word or who thoughtlessly wear swastikas. One hundred members of the Harvard faculty drafted a letter demanding that he apologize. The National Organization for Women demanded that he resign. [...] Meanwhile, Ward Churchill, whose scholarship is a joke, whose evidence is tendentious at best, and who called the victims of 9/11 the moral equivalent of a man who sent babies to the gas chambers, is a hero of free speech. He has refused to apologize. Many conservatives are forced to defend free speech and "diversity" in academia while liberals let the NOWers feed on Summers' flesh.