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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student


Letter to the editor: Only in Academia

Let me understand this right: the university is up in arms not because Professor Eric Rasmussen published something “offensive,” but because he had the audacity to retweet — outside of the classroom no less — an article someone else wrote, a provocative article that may have even contained some accurate "facts," just not facts people necessarily like. 

Moreover, I have not heard any claims that in the professor’s 27 years of teaching, he was unfair or a bad teacher. I have not seen anyone investigate his teacher ratings — you know, that small detail of how he actually performs his job.

Reviewing his bio, I did see that he is a prolific scholar, having published dozens of influential papers on law and economics. But who has time for such things when there’s a good professional hanging to be had?

Amazing and telling, there’s only begrudging acceptance of this small thing called the Constitution. You know, “shucks, I guess we have to honor this thing called the First Amendment, but we’ll be closely watching him for a gotcha moment so we can fire his racist, misogynistic, homophobic, white, male rump. Watch out professor, you’re on notice.  Your offense: you hurt people’s feelings with . . . speech.”

Imagine for a second the reaction if a very liberal professor — you know, the other 95% of the faculty — had the audacity to retweet an article that suggested women were superior. What would be the reaction? That’s right: there would be none. 

Even in academia that’s called intellectual hypocrisy. It may make all feel better, but it is dangerous and ultimately does a disservice to all students. The principle is, of course, much bigger than Rasmussen.  He's a convenient distraction. 

Moral: the road to hell remains paved with good intentions. That, and grow up, and suck it up a bit. If hurt feelings are the worst thing that happens to you, you lead a charmed life.  

All said, I am guessing a liberal student will get a fairer and more objective shake from Professor Rasmussen, than a conservative student from a liberal professor. So much for a meritocracy.  

William Choslovsky
Chicago, Illinois resident

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