Former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean appeared recently on a panel on free speech at Kenyon College, where he grossly mischaracterized the lamentable events at Yale University in the fall of 2015, where a student mob screamed at Nicholas Christakis for his wife’s sin of writing an email saying students should chill about offensive Halloween costumes. The video of the whole panel (which also included Steven Pinker and Heather Mac Donald) is almost two hours long (and worth taking in if you have time), but Dean’s remarks about Yale begin around the 1:10 mark, and he manages to get every detail wrong as well as how it should be understood.
Dean conveniently leaves out and distorts what happened, including that both Christakis and his wife were compelled to resign from their posts as “masters” of the Yale residential colleges (Yale has subsequently abolished the title “master,” because slavery or something, though one wonders how they can still offer Master’s degrees with a straight face) where they had been posted. Christakis, a liberal of longstanding, isn’t letting Dean off easily, and let fly with one of the best tweetstorms I’ve seen in a long time. (Click on his original Tweet if you want to chase down any of the links he includes.)
If Howard Dean had any decency, he would retract or correct his remarks and apologize to Christakis. But I suspect he’ll just go on screaming.