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Monday, May 9, 2016

Kristof’s ‘Confession of Liberal Intolerance’

New York Times columnist Nichols Kristof writes on liberal intolerance in his latest column. Here’s a taste:
We progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservatives.
Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us. . . .
I’ve been thinking about this because on Facebook recently I wondered aloud whether universities stigmatize conservatives and undermine intellectual diversity. The scornful reaction from my fellow liberals proved the point.
Kristof summarizes empirical work highlighting the stark ideological imbalance in many disciplines. As he notes, in the social sciences, “it’s easier to find a Marxist in some disciplines than a Republican.” (And this was pre-Trump.)
Kristof understands that the issue is far broader than whether universities and other institutions are “fair” to those with politically incorrect perspectives.
The stakes involve not just fairness to conservatives or evangelical Christians, not just whether progressives will be true to their own values, not just the benefits that come from diversity (and diversity of thought is arguably among the most important kinds), but also the quality of education itself. When perspectives are unrepresented in discussions, when some kinds of thinkers aren’t at the table, classrooms become echo chambers rather than sounding boards — and we all lose...

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