Getting minds right at Yale: Trent Colbert speaks

Trent Colbert is the self-possessed second-year student behind the exposure of the diversity regime at Yale Law School/Yale University. They owe Colbert for what they have done to him, including lying about what they have done to him. Yet the authorities are keeping their heads down and waiting for the controversy to blow over.

Colbert steps out to explain “Why I Didn’t Apologize For That Yale Law School Email.” He stands out both from his peers and from the authorities:

[A] fellow student wrote in our class forum that my failure to apologize was “corny.” If I had interpreted the usage of “corny” to be a sly reference to my indigenous background (corn is a Native American crop with immense cultural significance in indigenous communities), should that student be forced to apologize to me? I believe most people, including that student, would say no. An action does not warrant a forced apology just because an individual or a group demands it.

Instead, an apology should be a sincere expression of remorse and admission of fault. The Yale administrators did not believe I had been racist by using the phrase “trap house.” But it did not matter. They urged me to placate students via public submission.

I don’t believe that the now-common ritual of compelled apology, complete with promises to “grow” and “do better” (their words, but ones I’m sure you’ve seen many times before) helps anyone, or is even intended to. If we continue to indulge this culture of performative denunciation, the very idea of an apology will lose its meaning.

This is a student who can give us hope for the future. As Emerson told Whitman when Whitman sent him a copy of Leaves of Grass, “I greet you at the beginning of a great career.”

Colbert entrusted his story to Washington Free Beacon reporter Aaron Sibarium. Sibarium did an excellent job bringing the story to light. Daniel Kennelly briefly quizzes Sibarium about the story and related issues in the City Journal interview “The Diversity Bureaucracy.”

I noted last week that Sibarium’s story was impacting, as they used to say in the good old days over at the Drudge Report, citing the deletion of the profile of YLS Office of Student Affairs diversity czar Yaseen Eldik from the Office of Student Affairs page online. Sibarium reports on this development in “Damage Control: Yale Law School Scrubs Administrator Profiles from Website.” Sibarium also stepped back to take a look at the free-speech issue in “We Have a Diversity Bureaucracy. In the Wake of Yale Law Brouhaha, Prominent Scholars Say We Need A Free Speech Bureaucracy Too.”

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