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Vigorous Debate and Protest: Democracy in Action

When I was at Penn and an editor at The Daily Pennsylvanian, I had a minor role in defending some jerk who yelled Water Buffalo at some other students. Now I see a lot of hand-wringing about the “kids these days” at Yale who are up in arms at an email sent around about Halloween Costumes.

I guess my point is this: the administrators sent around an email. It was designed to spark a response and debate. It sparked a response and debate. As is true of any large group of a diverse population, some of that response and debate is going to be immature. But this hardly is the collapse of civilization.

Microaggressions are real. And poo-poohing students who identify microaggressions as merely “precious little teacups” misses the point.

Where speech is met with gov’t sanction, that’s a problem. Where speech is met with vociferous debate and protests, that is healthy. The administrators should welcome this.

And, frankly, the administrators who are writing from a position of privilege should take time to consider the points, however inartfully made, that are being made by student protestors.

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