Thursday, January 19, 2017
Any reference to race is risky
Just before Christmas, the University of Oregon mounted an exceptionally unhinged assault on free speech. If you missed it, don’t feel bad. It got lost amidst the holiday cacophony and, in any event, it was only the latest in long a series of such eye-popping assaults on free expression over the past few years.
What happened? Tenured law professor Nancy Shurtz, a white woman, hosted an off-campus Halloween party at which she dressed up as a black man.
In response to complaints, the University of Oregon launched an investigation, ultimately issuing a report suspending the professor on the grounds that her costume constituted “discriminatory harassment.” That the professor actually intended (however clumsily) to protest racism was irrelevant.