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What a silly diatribe

Reader comment on item: An Inadvertent Endorsement of Campus Watch [at Georgia Tech]

Submitted by Jeff (United States), Apr 17, 2006 at 22:15

What a silly diatribe Professor Bier engages in as she slides herself into victimization and self-censorship. All Ms. Sklar did was disagree with her position and critique her presentation. What's wrong with that? I thought the existence of more than one position in a debate in an academic setting was a good thing. So why doesn't professor Bier argue back and defend her position? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't hear Ms. Sklar say Professor Bier had to forget everything she learned in those endless years of graduate school and keep her mouth shut from now on; she simply disagreed.

One person disagrees with her in an auditorium filled to capacity, and that comprises an "inhospitable intellectual climate." (Does that say something about the value she places on the other 199?) And as far as those "blacklists" go (that's not a loaded term, right?) why does Professor Bier suddenly care so much what others think?

If I'm at a meeting at work, and I put forth an opinion or proposal, it's not outside the realm of possibility that another participant will disagree with me. I don't consider that a reason to render myself a victim and change the subject to discuss my new victim status. He just disagrees; he think's he's right, or thinks my proposal has some impracticality I didn't consider. (And he could well be right.) As long as each of us is trying to arrive at a truth, or the best solution or plan, everything generally works out OK. If we can argue back and forth like that in the supposedly cutthroat world of corporate America, why can't that take place in academia?

Could it be that Professor Bier fears who will win if the argument goes much further? It's so much easier to engage in imagined victimhood and paint those with whom you disagree as hate-mongering enemies of the Constitution than it is to engage in honest debate.
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