America’s #1 police chief recently spoke at Brown, and Ray Kelly faced a sea of boos. What kind of college leadership and faculty would allow such a disgrace? Here Mona Charon outlines the Brown fiasco.
When New York City’s strikingly successful police commissioner arrived to address students at Brown University, he was harassed, booed, and heckled for 30 long minutes. “Racism is not for debate,” they shouted. A university official pleaded with the goons, er, students to permit Kelly to speak, reminding them that they would be free to express disagreement during the Q-and-A session afterwards. “Shout him down!” responded a man in the audience, and the crowd did.
Episodes like this are tolerated in America because college faculties, administrators, and the press almost uniformly share the students’ prejudices and haven’t the spine or the integrity to uphold boring American values like free expression. Brown’s president issued a wan apology noting that it was a “sad day” for the university, but there were no suspensions or other punishments for those who organized and carried out this thuggish intimidation. Instead, the university will convene “a forum for the campus to discuss our values and expectations as a community.” That’ll help.
A short clip of the disgraceful behavior: