Loose Ends (182)

Such a lot going on right now: another racism hoax, dubious baseball rules changes, the collapse of Western Civilization . . . in other words, the usual. Time for a quick roundup.

Oberlin College is finally going to pay up the $36 million it owes to Gibson’s Bakery. There isn’t the slightest hint of an apology from Oberlin in their statement announcing that they have decided to honor a jury’s verdict and several appellate court decisions against them. From the NY Times story:

In a statement, Oberlin said that “this matter has been painful for everyone.” It added, “We hope that the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.”

The college acknowledged that the size of the judgment, which includes damages and interest, was “significant.” But it said that “with careful financial planning,” including insurance, it could be paid “without impacting our academic and student experience.” Oberlin has a robust endowment of nearly $1 billion.

“Painful for everyone”? But not to worry, our “careful financial planning” means it won’t hurt the operations of the college; it’s just another cost of doing business. Clearly this wasn’t painful enough to Oberlin; too bad the judgment wasn’t for $136 million. Maybe next time.

I know I have mentioned the European Conservative several times on the 3WHH podcast. It’s an elegant publication, printed on glossy hard stock paper, featuring lots of great art, and with a lot of art and music reviews, as well as political commentary (and even on occasional piece from me, such as in the issue I am holding in the nearby photo). The New Criterion is the only U.S. publication comparable to it. Do consider subscribing.

Well guess what, mom? W.H. Smith, the major newsstand of Britain and much of Europe, has banned the European Conservative from its sales racks. The National Catholic Register reports:

Alexi Kaye Campbell, a Greek-British playwright, and his civil partner Dominic Cooke, an English director and writer, took to Twitter and Instagram on Aug. 19 to highlight three aspects of the journal they found objectionable.

The first concerned an interview with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the second a description of “Pride” Month as “an opportunity to publicly parade some of the more dissolute aspects of human experience,” and the third an editorial cartoon showing a child vomiting a rainbow (the symbol of the LGBT lobby) after school.

They then urged friends to pressure WHSmith to immediately remove the publication, which the retailer duly did, without informing The European Conservative directly.

W.H. Smith is a publicly traded company, and if you’d like to send them a note about their shameful cowardice, their contact email is: [email protected], or [email protected].

Don’t miss the Harvard Crimson‘s interview with Harvey Mansfield, who recently turned 90 and is still teaching at Harvard. Sample:

A recent survey in the Crimson found that 80 percent of surveyed faculty identify as liberal. Do you see that ideological imbalance as an issue on campus?

Mansfield: Yes, it’s a terrific issue. It’s an issue which is not accepted as an issue by most of my colleagues and by the university, generally. They don’t think it’s a problem that Harvard is mocked by half the country for the things which it does gratuitously, to provoke them. The Harvard Commencement is something like the Democratic National Convention. And that’s a hell of a way to run a university, to maintain its impartiality and its devotion to veritas, to truth, just to go out of your way to provoke people who happen to have different politics, instead of inviting them to come and even just give a talk. How can that be in Harvard’s interest?

As to hiring, I don’t think a conservative has been hired in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the last decade. And it’s probably been going on longer than that. Maybe there’s one or two, but if so, they stay hidden. Because if you’re conservative and want to get on with your colleagues, you have to indulge in self-censorship, and I think a number of students do that as well. But I can’t get my colleagues to think of this as a problem.

Speaking of our East German universities:

Almost 40 Percent of College Students Feel Uncomfortable Sharing a Controversial Opinion in Class

On Wednesday, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) released its annual College Free Speech Rankings. The rankings are derived from a survey of almost 45,000 college students at over 200 universities in the United States. The survey has been conducted since 2020, collecting a wide range of information about the campus political climate at a swath of universities. . .

According to the survey results released by FIRE, both discomfort in expression and outright censoriousness of unpopular viewpoints continue to be common problems on American college campuses.

Sixty-four percent of students were worried a misunderstanding of something they say or do could damage their reputation. Forty-eight percent reported that they would be “very uncomfortable” or “somewhat uncomfortable” expressing their views on a controversial political topic to other students in a public space on campus. Thirty-eight percent expressed that they would be uncomfortable doing so during an in-class discussion. And rates of discomfort are comparable across racial categories: 32 percent of black respondents, 39 percent of white respondents, and 37 percent of Hispanic respondents felt that wariness about expressing themselves in class. More than 40 percent of Asian and American Indian students reported discomfort.

In other words, large portions of every student demographic thinks the campus climate is stifling. Good job, higher ed!

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