While Harvard's President Larry Summers turns slowly on a spit over a faculty campfire for engaging in thoughtcrime, another Ivy League leader is dipping his toe into controversial waters.
Columbia President Lee Bollinger, speaking at a New York Bar Association meeting, declared that university professors have responsibilities in addition to rights. The New York Times reported that Bollinger cautioned:
We should not elevate our autonomy as individual faculty members above every other value. ... (Professors have an obligation) to resist the allure of certitude, the temptation to use the podium as an ideological platform, to indoctrinate a captive audience, to play favorites with the like-minded and silence the others.
Bollinger's comments are especially interesting because they reflect a new reality: Universities are coming under fire for their anti-Americanism, leftism and ideological rigidity. Thanks to aggressive reporting by Campus-watch.org, FrontPage.com, bloggers like Powerline and the cutting-edge New York Sun, light is now shining on the Stalinist atmosphere at many American campuses -- discomfiting the armchair apologists for violence and extremism who have toiled there unobserved for decades.
Columbia has more than its share. Long the perch of the late PLO member Edward Said, Columbia now boasts a number of faculty members whose vitriol toward the United States and Israel is sulphuric. Professor Nicholas DeGenova pronounced at an antiwar rally in 2003 that "U.S. patriotism is inseparable from ... white supremacy." DeGenova would be happy, he told the crowd, if the Iraq war led to "a million Mogadishus." (In Somalia in 1993, 18 American soldiers were killed and their bodies dragged through the streets by a mob.)
Professor Joseph Massad has been the focus of numerous student complaints. According to several students, Massad openly propagandizes for Palestinian extremism in the classroom, frequently labeling Israel a racist, apartheid state, encouraging Palestinian violence and supporting university divestment from all companies doing business with Israel (but no others -- not China, not Syria, not North Korea, not Cuba).
Massad, unsurprisingly, has no love for George W. Bush, whom he describes as a "colonial feminist," that is, "one who pushes for women's rights overseas but not at home."