Category Archive 'Halloween Costume Uprising'

29 Oct 2016

Erika Christakis Looks Back Ruefully

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Nicholas Christakis ordered by Shrieking Student to resign.

A year later, Erika Christakis discusses how her one little email questioning the appropriateness of an official stance on Halloween costumes brought the full wrath of the snowflakes of color down upon her own and her husband’s heads, and drove them out of their cushy jobs at one of the grandest universities in the land, while all the while the Yale Administration stood by telling the world it was affirming free speech rights by washing its hands.

Nearly a thousand students, faculty and deans called for my and my husband’s immediate removal from our jobs and campus home. Some demanded not only apologies for any unintended racial insensitivity (which we gladly offered) but also a complete disavowal of my ideas (which we did not) — as well as advance warning of my appearances in the dining hall so that students accusing me of fostering violence wouldn’t be disturbed by the sight of me.

Not everyone bought this narrative, but few spoke up. And who can blame them? Numerous professors, including those at Yale’s top-rated law school, contacted us personally to say that it was too risky to speak their minds. Others who generously supported us publicly were admonished by colleagues for vouching for our characters. Many students met with us confidentially to describe intimidation and accusations of being a “race traitor” when they deviated from the ascendant campus account that I had grievously injured the community. The Yale Daily News evidently felt obliged to play down key facts in its reporting, including about the two-hour-plus confrontation with a crowd of more than 100 students in which several made verbal and physical threats to my husband while four Yale deans and administrators looked on.

One professor I admire claimed my lone email was so threatening that it unraveled decades of her work supporting students of color. One email. In this unhealthy climate, of which I’ve detailed only a fraction of the episodes, it’s unsurprising that our own attempts at emotional repair fell flat. …

[T]he concept of campus civility now requires adherence to specific ideology — not only commitment to respectful dialogue. …

Certain members of the community used me and my family as tinder for a mass emotional conflagration by refusing to state the obvious: that the content of my albeit imperfect message fell squarely within the parameters of normal discourse and might even have been worth considering on its merits as an adjunct to prevailing campus orthodoxy. There was no official recognition that the calls to have us fired could be seen as illiberal or censorious. By affirming only the narrow right to air my views, rather than helping the community to grapple with its intense response, an unfortunate message was made plain: Certain ideas are too dangerous to be heard at Yale.

Read the whole thing.

Yet despite everything that has happened, I suspect Mrs. Christakis will continue to support “Diversity,” will continue to vote for democrats, and will remain a proper bien pensant with no enemies to the Left on any other occasion.

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