Of the many recent incidents of censorship on college campuses, the case of Brandeis University rescinding its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali continues to stand out and astonish.
A woman is brutalized for being a woman – by her country, her culture, her religion. She escapes, and dares to tell the world about it. Dares to protest this treatment of women and to call for its end. For this, she is considered beyond the PC pale and censored, not just in her own country but here, among the liberal, in the land of the free. Hate crimes against women never seem to make it onto the PC police list of no-nos despite the fact that many of the most vocal in favor of university censorship seem to be women. This is yet another troubling demonstration of the difference between repression and censorship here and abroad: when it happens in places like China, it tends to be top-down, with brutal governments silencing academic freedom, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. When it happens here, it is the academics who are calling for censorship – for silence.
The writer of this article asks, where are the faculty standing out against censorship? It’s a good question.