Thomas Sowell

But apparently it did not "impoverish public debate" to have a representative of the Minuteman organization disrupted and shouted down with impunity at this same Columbia University earlier this year. The "courageous" Bollinger did nothing to punish those students who used storm trooper tactics to silence a point of view they did not like.

Sadly, Columbia University is not unique in either its double standards or its double talk. A Harvard dean back in 1987 put limitations on the number of "controversial" outside speakers allowed on campus, on grounds that it was expensive to provide the extra security needed to prevent disruption or violence.

Since the only speakers who are likely to provoke campus disruption and violence are speakers that left-wing students don't like, this act of preemptive surrender gave campus storm troopers a de facto veto over who can speak on campus.

The real problem on these and other campuses is that no one has to take responsibility. With the power being in the faculty, administrators can evade responsibility, and trustees are not around enough to exercise the ultimate power that is legally theirs.

Moreover, so long as alumni and other donors keep sending money, there is no price to be paid for caving in to the threats of campus ideologues.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate