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Rant with Randi: Yale, bullying and BS

Randi Crawford
Randi Crawford

We send our kids off to 6th grade camp and give them 100 things to stay away from so they don’t catch some weird disease or get sick while they are away and we can’t protect them. If we hear that a product is recalled, we are up in arms with worry about whether or not we let our child wear the sweater with the “defective” button that they child could choke on while swinging on a new sponge playground. Parents today are outrageously paranoid and litigious and it’s causing us to live in a bubble. And yet at the same time, whenever we turn on the television, all we hear about is ISIS, the Paris attacks and random acts of horrifying gun violence. So we hold our kids a little bit closer. It’s a fine line between obsessive parenting and the reality of today’s world.

Yale has been experiencing, in my opinion, bullying by a group of student activists who are behaving like spoiled, intolerant children, rather than mature adults at one of the most prestigious colleges in the world. These Ivy League students are supposed be debating ideas, searching for light and truth (lux et veritas is Yale’s motto), instead of mobbing professors, screaming obscenities and spitting on faculty.

In short, a professor at Yale, Erika Christakis, and her husband/fellow professor, Nicholas Christakis, preside over, and live at one of the undergraduate colleges. Prior to Halloween, the faculty sent out an email to the entire student body, asking them to be sensitive about the costumes they chose to wear so as not to “alienate, demean, or impact” any groups of individuals. A few of the students complained to the Christakis’ about the “heavy-handed advice” that Yale administrators had given them regarding Halloween costumes. So Erika Christakis sent out a very well constructed email, in short, stating that she thought the letter from the administration was a threat to student expression and she felt that the Yale student body should be able to make their own decisions regarding what is and isn’t appropriate. (You can read her email on www.thefire.org). Her message was very thought provoking and should have sparked intellectual dialogue about whether or not we can trust young people to reach their own conclusions as to what is offensive without being ordered to be sensitive with regard to choosing appropriate Halloween costumes.

As a result, several students are now trying to get her and her husband removed from campus, stating that they don’t feel safe. This has all gone way too far and everyone takes offense to everything and I can’t take it anymore. According to The Washington Post, “Several students in Silliman (The college/dorm on the Yale campus that the students want the Christakis thrown out of) said they couldn’t bear to live in the college anymore.”

Please keep in mind that they live in heated buildings with two Steinway grand pianos, an indoor basketball court, a courtyard with hammocks and picnic tables, a computer lab, a dance studio, a gym, a movie theater, a film-editing lab, billiard tables, an art gallery, and four music practice rooms. But they can’t bear to live there anymore because they no longer feel safe...all because one professor wrote an email that upset them? Has the whole world gone mad? Seriously folks – this is when I would send a letter home to mommy and daddy and tell them to come pick up their (You fill in the blanks) kid.

In short, these students who no longer feel safe, object to anything that is contrary to their worldview, which basically leaves no room for any type of civil disagreement? Ironically, the professor’s letter is pro-student? Christakis is giving them back their rights.

Apparently, students are so miffed that they are skipping meals, not doing their homework, and losing sleep. The student body literally “mobbed” Erika’s husband over her email. How is that safe? Nicholas Christakis told the students to either look away or tell someone that you are offended by their costume. He encouraged them to talk to each other using free speech. How’s that for an Ivy League student...use your words. What are they, three?

What say you? Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmailcom.