Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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More on Jon Bean and "Handout Hysteria"

Inside Higher Ed has more today about the plight of Jonathan Bean at SIU-Carbondale. On a hopeful note, the article calls attention to the strong support that the professor is receiving from students. The student newspaper, The Daily Eqyptian, has published a powerful editorial denouncing the attempts to silence Bean:

“Professors must be free to choose controversial material if doing so will further intellectual inquiry. The manner in which the material is presented, the discussion it generates and the conclusions drawn from it — in other words, the intellectual context — must provide the standards by which such material is judged.”

“Another troubling aspect is the insistence by some that the students who were presented with the article were not yet capable of critical thinking and were therefore susceptible to corruption,” the editorial said. “This paternalistic attitude flies in the face of all freedom. It is not the university’s mission to shield soft young minds from offensive ideas, and the ability to think critically cannot be developed when people are denied the opportunity to think in the first place.”

Discussions - 3 Comments

reminds me a lot of the guy with the "little eichmans" comments...

There is NO resemblance between Jon Bean and Ward Churchill, but the Bean case "reminds me" of the Churchill brouhaha as well. As several conservatives have pointed out, Churchill ought to stay in his position, if only because his continued employment at UC-Boulder can always be cited to prevent conservatives from being fired for making unpopular statements.

Of course, it’s important to note that no one to my knowledge has suggested firing Jon Bean, who has tenure. The assault has been rather on his professional reputation as a scholar and teacher--something that Churchill does not have.

At least the student newspaper has some sense. At some other schools, the newspaper would be demanding his head on a plate.

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