16 Apr 2007

More Shocking Insensitivity

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To celebrate Gay Pride Week at Yale (which for some unaccountable reason is apparently scheduled to last for 16 days: April 7-22), a group calling itself the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Cooperative desecrated the gate to Yale’s Cross Campus, between Berkeley and Calhoun Colleges,) by suspending from it a rainbow-colored Homosexual Political Movement flag, labeled in duct-tape “Yale Pride.”

That gate was erected many years ago in honor of the memory of Noah Porter (1811-1892), Professor of Moral Philosophy and 7th President of Yale College (1871-1886), a learned and distinguished man of high character, who is unlikely personally to have entertained a very positive opinion of sexual inversion and sodomy.

In the fashion of college life, some wag came along on Saturday night, and modified the offending flag’s lettering, causing it to make reference to a different member of the Seven Deadly Sins.

The Yale Daily News today is reporting indignantly about the “desecration” of that rubbishy flag, when it ought to be condemning the actual desecration of President Porter’s gate by its impertinent appropriation for use in the glorification of so unworthy and incongruous a cause.

Left-thinking reporter Cullen Macbeth is quick to condemn the untoward application of humor to any of the forces of political correctness’ sacred cows.

Other recent incidents include jokes published in a few campus periodicals that made fun of various minority groups, including Asian-Americans. Although such actions have been intended as humorous, they are still hurtful to many members of those groups.

And in a further note of inadvertent humor, the Yale Administation’s enforcer-in-chief of PC clocks in:

Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said she has not seen the defaced flag but is open to working with LGBT Co-op members if they approach her to talk about the issue. Taking down another group’s sign and altering it without informing anyone is a “cowardly” thing to do, she said.

“If somebody has some problem with what the gay pride people are doing, they have to come forward and talk about it openly and above-board,” Trachtenberg said. “Why they don’t want to identify themselves is beyond me.

Oh, come on, Betty, you’d rusticate or expel any undergraduate you caught making a gesture of dissent to one of your left-wing causes in a New York minute. And defying you, since you have the power and are by no means reluctant to use it, makes even so small a gesture as this a courageous thing to do.

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Elinor Dashwood

This is an extremely disingenuous comment on Trachtenberg’s part. At least when the old-style headmaster of fiction invited the doer of some outrage to step forward and be annihilated, he didn’t pretend that there would be no consequences. Anyone who admitted to this particular act of vandalism – which it certainly was, despite my sympathy with the feeling behind it, since the banner is someone else’s property – would, as you say, be expelled instantly. I never had much faith in this business of asking the culprit to admit his guilt and be punished. In my own family I established the principle that what I really and unequivocally would not stand for was deceit, so anyone who told me himself that he’d done something wrong would get off punishment. He’d be told why it was a stupid or cruel or dangerous or destructive thing to have done, but he wouldn’t be punished. As a result my children were a great deal less troublesome than most, and I was almost never lied to. Trachtenberg is a fool if she she thinks anyone will be taken in by her pose of sweet reason and injured candor.



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