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September 29, 2008
At Cornell, Academia’s
‘Inclusiveness’ Again Censors Conservatives
1968, 50 student militants at Cornell University, my alma mater, stormed
the offices of the Economics Department and took the department chair
hostage because he had praised the achievements of Western civilization.
The university administration found that the militants had been victims
of “institutional racism” and thus spared them appropriate punishment.
few months later, members of the Afro-American Society (AAS) took
control of another campus building in order to put it to AAS use. Then,
during the 1969 Parents’ Weekend, up to 100 militants invaded the
student union, followed by beatings and death threats. Soon thereafter,
firearms and munitions were brought in to assist the militants in their
Not only did the Cornell administration swallow the high building repair
costs and refrain from pressing charges, but it also offered the student
militants assistance in potential lawsuits filed against them. To make
things worse, it permitted the militants to keep their guns and parade
them across campus. And to further reward the radicals’ repulsive
behavior, the administration granted them, among other things, a black
residence hall on the Cornell campus.
Several years and various events later, in 1993, Hispanic radicals
invaded the administration’s building by swinging bats, injuring police
officers and occupying the building for days, all because they wished to
be as segregated from the rest of campus as the black students were. Of
course, the administration rewarded this behavior as well by creating
the Latino Living Center, a dormitory for Hispanics.
1997, the Cornell Review, the school’s conservative paper,
published material that was not to the liking of leftist radicals, who
blocked traffic and built a bonfire from hundreds of copies of the
Review. The Dean of Students at the time, John Ford, denied the
Nazi-style burning of the Review until a picture came out of him
standing near a burning pile of the paper. Soon thereafter, Cornell’s
president at the time, Hunter Rawlings, used his commencement address to
condemn not the illegal and dangerous censorship efforts of the
radicals, but the staff of the Review.
recently as three years ago, militant environmentalists opposing the
replacement of some brush with a campus parking lot invaded the
university president’s office, and later took to the trees in order to
prevent their removal by construction crews. President Rawlings again
rewarded the illegal and dangerous behavior by signing a compromise with
the radicals literally in a tent under the trees.
This fall, the Cornell Review again dared to publish pieces that
do not satisfy the campus Left’s taste. Having realized that burnings
and de-funding efforts do not work very well (the Review is no
longer financed by student activity funds), the radicals proposed to the
student government that the word “Cornell” be taken out of the “Cornell
Review.” Apparently Cornell’s motto, “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open
Minds” should be supplemented with “for anyone ideologically stuck
between Bill Clinton and Joseph Stalin."
After much debate (not about whether to take action against the
Cornell Review but about what kind of action to take), the student
government instead opted for a resolution condemning the Cornell
Review for causing “alienation and intimidation,” and asked that the
campus code of conduct be amended to prevent “hateful terminology.” They
decided against changing the paper’s name not because it was a ludicrous
idea, but because such action “would not do enough to make Cornell a
more welcoming and inclusive campus.”
And how exactly would banishing Cornell’s sole print voice of half the
ideological spectrum make the campus at all more “inclusive?” It somehow
makes perfect sense in their heads.
Now, this is a campus that has seen a number of violent attacks,
including armed takeovers of buildings, all of which were rewarded. It’s
a campus that sees regular discrimination against conservative students,
unpunished interruptions of conservative events and physical attacks
against conservative speakers. It’s a campus where young conservative
women who attend the “Cornell Women’s Resource Center festival” find
themselves surrounded by games such as “Dildo Bowling” and “Pin the Clit
on the Cunt.”
This is a campus that proudly provides dormitories for blacks, Hispanics
and Native Americans who actively self-segregate and refuse to live with
people of other races.
And unfortunately, it is a campus that reflects much of academia today.
Cornell Review alums have put it best: “Ivy League liberals like
to think they are champions of freedom and academic liberty, but when
faced with an opinion with which they disagree, they turn into Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, without the charm.” It is unfortunate, but true.
© 2008 North Star
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