Judge Jose Cabranes took a public stand against Yale’s drift toward PC Totalitarianism
Writing for the Yale Law & Public Public Review (via CampusReform), US Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes (who was previously Yaleâ€™s general counsel) referred to Encounter Booksâ€™ recent decision to republish copies of the Woodward Report, a Yale document affirming its commitment to freedom of expression. In 1975, the university adopted the report as official school policy.
Cabranes says that their decision to reprint the report was a response to the institutionâ€™s fading commitment to its contents. Last year, Yale students petitioned to abolish its course on â€œMajor English Poets,â€ which has existed since 1920, because they found it â€œhostile to students of color.â€ In the days prior, two professors resigned amid a scandal revolving around the â€œcultural appropriationâ€ of offensive Halloween costumes.
Yale students also protested Milo Yiannopoulos, whose speaking engagement was canceled over last-minute venue changes, exorbitant security fees and a variety of other restrictions that the Conservative firebrand deemed â€œabsurd.â€
The federal judge also highlighted his concern with Yaleâ€™s commitment to â€œcivility.â€
â€œâ€™Civilityâ€™ sounds innocuous enough, and, indeed, we can all agree that we should strive to be civil to each other,â€ said Cabranes. â€œBut problems arise when we are told that â€˜uncivilâ€™ speech has turned the campus, or parts of the campus, into a â€˜hostile environmentâ€™â€”and, more dangerously still, when we are told that university officials have a duty to make campus â€˜safeâ€™ again by suppressing alleged incivility.â€
â€œIn the fight against incivility, university officials too easily morph into monitors of acceptable speechâ€”and, ultimately, into the unhappy role of â€˜Civility Police,â€™â€ he said.
â€œWe can toss our hands up and say that the malaise so palpably evident at Yale is simply part of larger cultural phenomena, national and international,â€ said Cabranes. But, he added, Yaleâ€™s job is not to be â€œswept along by a national tideâ€ but rather to lead by example.