The joker in all this, however, is that the passionate heckler turned out to be a student who admitted to having been paid $50 to do the heckling, and who was given a script to follow for his performance. The authorities made no effort to quiet the hecklers during the event, or advise them that the invited guests had a right to be heard. Read the full CAMERA story; it’s a doozy.
It’s a good question how many universities realize the hit their academic reputations take from these events. It’s one thing for the citizens to have to effectively subsidize the propagation of views they disagree with at the state-funded institutions. But it’s another altogether for those state-funded institutions to silence speech on the taxpayer’s dime.
Not all the universities in question are taxpayer funded, of course. But if you assembled the actual taxpayers for these events, they would behave much better than the student activists, faculty, and officials at almost any university (Fans at a minor-league hockey game would behave better.). The best in the legacy of the English-speaking peoples – letting everyone have his say, tolerating dissent, prizing courtesy toward political opponents – is decreasingly in evidence in our most celebrated institutions of higher learning. When the ordinary people are way better than the leaders of academia in this regard, it becomes a serious question why the taxpayers should keep funding the institutions’ sophomoric privileges.
Originally published at http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/05/15/academia-pro-palestinians-behaving-badly/