Rules Against Bigotry Can’t Be a One-Way Door


The principle of “turnabout is fair play” applies to a story Glenn Reynolds noticed, of a University of Michigan-Flint economics professor who has asked Northeastern University, in Boston, to investigate whether one of its Women’s, Gender and Sexual Studies professors violated Title IX by publicly expressing hatred for all men:

“She has not only publically demonized and belittled all males at Northeastern University, she called out publically for the universal hatred of all men, including all men at your university,” [Mark Perry] wrote. “That makes Ms. Walters a confirmed sexist and bigot in violation of Title IX and your university’s own stated policies that prohibit such discrimination.”

Perry suggested that Northeastern should prevent [Suzanna] Walters from teaching male students, or have sway on decisions relating to male colleagues in her department, and be forced to partake in diversity training/anger management courses to address her sexism.

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The humor of Professor Perry’s request (and the poignancy, even if we see no humor) resides in the fact that the door of bigotry is only supposed to swing one way.  As we see every year in Rhode Island, when Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo discriminates against school boys in her “governor for a day” contest, progressives really don’t believe that rules and mores against discrimination apply to their own beliefs.  By definition, in their minds, they are free of such taints.  To wit: “I am not a bigot.  Therefore, my beliefs cannot be bigoted.”

But the double standard cannot hold, and those of us who maintain that the entire scheme of political correctness and the punishment of speech and beliefs is wrongheaded shouldn’t be shy about challenging it in its own terms, as Perry has done.

  • breaker94

    People like Suzanna Walters should never be allowed to teach at any level of education.

  • Merle The Monster

    Katz endorses discrimination in private businesses. He has no standing to evaluate issues involving bias and discrimination.

    “I thought the answer was implicit. People should be free to discriminate in their business dealings, which I don’t like their doing.” Justin Katz

    • Justin Katz

      Saying people should have the freedom to do something is not an endorsement of their doing it. This seems to be a particular blind spot of people who hold left-wing political views.

      • guest

        Really, opposing a right to be “free to discriminate in their business dealings” is a “… particular blind spot…”?

        • Justin Katz

          No, the blind spot is believing that allowing people the freedom to be disagreeable is the same as endorsing their disagreeableness. This blind spot leads you to do things like oppose other people’s freedom, which makes you tyrannical.

      • Merle The Monster

        Would like to see the civil rights act of 1964 overturned? American Diabilities act? Is it your view that the federal government has no right to enforce anti discrimination laws and protect groups of people? Is it tyrannical for federal and state government to do so?

        • Justin Katz

          Why must you argue in extremis? These aren’t light switches. We ought to presume that people have a right to hold different views from us. We can judge where the lines are for the interaction of all of our rights, but that’s best done at the lowest level possible.

          I think the federal government has gone much too far in imposing its will on society. State governments have, too, but they have more leeway.

          • Merle The Monster

            I asked you those questions to gauge where you are in regards to anti discrimination laws because I really did not know from some of your comments from time to time. You have tried in the past to make an argument that federal intervention in the southern states to integrate public spaces and schools was unnecessary and that integration could have been achieved through some kind of magical free market scenario so I wanted clarification which you’ve failed to produce.
            I’ll agree with you that the size and scope of the federal government and its recently expanded powers through the Patriot act corncerns me as does its civil forfeiture actions , and the recent zero tolerance policy at the US/Mexico border.