Monday, April 03, 2006

The Yale Taliban

I can't say I am happy (see here) that my alma mater has admitted the former spokesman for the Taliban regime as a special student, giving him a discount on tuition. I do think that Deroy Murdock is a bit off when he says
This affair may show that "my enemy's enemy is my friend." Yale's politically correct administrators hate that reckless Texas cowboy George W. Bush (Yale, class of 1968). How better to smack him, while preening their liberal feathers like peacocks, than to welcome one of W's enemies?
When I was there, Benno Schmidt was president, and he wouldn't have put up with this for a minute--he had this to say, and I think he is more accurate:
Former Yale president Benno Schmidt says admitting Mr. Hashemi is an exercise in "amorality and cynicism." He told me that "diversity simply cannot be allowed to trump all moral considerations." It's not as if Yale can't muster moral indignation. Yale is divesting from Sudan, responding to pressure from student activists and labor unions. But when it comes to a former Taliban official, there is a desire to move on.
And from my former dean?
Back in the early 1990s, when he was dean of Yale College, Yale history professor Don Kagan warned about what he called the university's "mutual massage" between value-neutral professors and soft-minded students. He is even more critical now: "The range of debate on campus is more narrow than ever today, and the Taliban incident is a wake-up call that moral relativism is totally unexamined here. The ability of students to even think clearly about patriotism and values is being undermined by faculty members who believe that at heart every problem has a U.S. origin." Mr. Kagan isn't optimistic that Yale will respond to outside pressure. "They have a $15 billion endowment, and I know Yale's governing board is handpicked to lick the boots of the president," he told me. "The only way Yale officials can be embarrassed is if a major donor publicly declares he is no longer giving to them. Otherwise, they simply don't care what the outside world thinks."
Ouch. Seems that things have changed a good bit since I was there.

UPDATE: The hits just keep on comin'. A former professor of mine (who did not give me a very good grade) gets quoted: "The reaction from some faculty members who were not part of the "town meeting" was swift. Steven Smith, a political science professor, said that confused and timid statements such as those at the "Town Meeting" represented a "failure to see the attack on America as an act of clear and unmitigated evil." " Indeed.