Professor Sam Crane’s Williams Alternative article on “conservative privilege” at Williams must be a parody. Right? No? He actually believes it! OK, then. Let’s spend a few days taking it apart. Today is Day 1.

The “Uncomfortable Learning” brouhaha has subjected Williams College to a torrent of national media criticism. Most notably, conservative news outlets have shouted charges of censorship and liberal intolerance and general decline of Western civilization.

Not a promising start! Did Sam see some of the Facebook discussion about Venker cancellation? Here is a sample:

When you bring a misogynistic, white supremacist men’s rights activist to campus in the name of ‘dialogue’ and ‘the other side,’ you are not only causing actual mental, social, psychological, and physical harm to students, but you are also—paying—for the continued dispersal of violent ideologies that kill our black and brown (trans) femme sisters. You are giving those who spout violence the money that so desperately needs to be funneled to black and brown (trans) femme communities, to people who are leading the revolution, who are surviving in the streets, who are dying in the streets. Know, you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.

If that isn’t “liberal intolerance” than the words have no meaning. Note that this sample (and there were hundreds of words like it directed at Uncomfortable Learning) was published in the Alternative as well, so Sam must have seen it. Nor was intolerance limited to Facebook. Consider the editors of the Williams Record:

Though Venker’s speech is legally protected, the College, as a private institution, has its own set of rules about what discourse is acceptable. In general, the College should not allow speech that challenges fundamental human rights and devalues people based on identity markers, like being a woman.

What word besides “intolerance” would you use to describe this attitude, the idea that Williams College “should not allow speech” of this or that kind?

If parents/alumni can’t trust Professor Crane to accurately describe what is happening on campus, why should we trust his claims that are not so easy to check?

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