Cancel Culture Has a Lot to Answer For

Peter H. Schuck in Quillette:

Sometimes our most precious cultural institutions fail to live up to their high educational and moral commitments and responsibilities. These failures especially damage the social fabric because they tend to harm many people who rely on them and tarnish the high ideals that the institutions claim to exemplify.

An incident in early October involving MIT, a jewel in world academia’s crown, presents an especially egregious instance of this institutional failing, aggravated by that university’s cowardice in the face of intimidation and threats by self-righteous students and their faculty allies. MIT had invited Dorian Abbot, a University of Chicago geophysicist, to deliver the prestigious John Carlson Lecture on climate and the potential of life on other planets—a topic on which Abbot is a recognized expert. Unfortunately for Abbot and his intended audience, however, he had recently committed the campus equivalent of hara-kiri by taking seriously the norms of academic freedom which MIT and other schools claim to cherish.

More here.