Shame on Sarah Lawrence College

I’m definitely glad I didn’t go work there:

After penning an op-ed for The New York Times decrying the ideological homogeneity of his campus administration, a conservative-leaning professor at Sarah Lawrence College discovered intimidating messages—including demands that he quit his job—on the door of his office. The perpetrators had torn down the door’s decorations, which had included pictures of the professor’s family. In the two weeks since the incident, Samuel Abrams, a tenured professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence, has repeatedly asked the college’s president, Cristle Collins Judd, to condemn the perpetrators’ actions and reiterate her support for free speech. But after sending a tepid campus-wide email that mentioned the importance of free expression, but mostly stressed her “commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence,” Judd spoke with Abrams over the phone; according to him, she accused him of “attacking” members of the community.

It gets worse as you’ll see if you follow the link. The behavior of teenage vandalists doesn’t bother me because kids will act out, and that’s OK. But if the administration doesn’t stand up for faculty members, that’s very disturbing.

And this part scares me shitless:

The Senate asked me to publicly affirm that Black Lives Matter, that LBGT+ Lives matter, and that Women’s Justice matters,” wrote Judd in the email. “I emphatically did.”

If somebody tried to force me to issue this kind of a declaration of faith, I’d refuse. I was one of the very first people to stand with “Black Lives Matter” signs on campus, long before it became fashionable. It was right after the killing of Michael Brown, and sometimes I stood there with just one other person or alone. I’m very proud that I did. And we all know that I’m fanatical about gay rights and lead a feminist association of scholars. But I don’t do public statements of faith and I find it intolerable and ridiculous that one’s employment at an institution of knowledge should be contingent on them. This is insulting, pathetic and wrong.

How exactly is this better than forcing a liberal professor publicly to affirm that, say, “unborn lives matter” or support for the second amendment? How is this any less disgusting and horrible?

And get this:

Abrams’ dealings with [the college’s president] have further unnerved him. During their conversation, she implied that he should have cleared his public writings with her before submitting them, something he described as unacceptable.

If we go down this road, administration can try to intimidate me into taking down the book reviews I posted over the weekend, for instance, because the author I discussed speaks favorably about nationalism. And then we wonder why more academics don’t share their thoughts with the general public.

I have a friend who is going up for tenure next year, and she tells me she could never blog like I do because she’s be terrified of the possible consequences. And believe me, we’d all gain a lot if this person shared her ideas because she’s absolutely brilliant. But she’s the primary earner in her family and can’t risk it.


9 thoughts on “Shame on Sarah Lawrence College”

  1. Sarah Lawrence College is a ridiculously liberal, ultra expensive liberal arts college with students who would definitely give you hives.

    While I do not agree that administrators play a greater role in socializing students ideologically than the professors and the other students themselves, I think more than anything else the college president overreacted to the idea that the college is rife with group think. Notice that nothing is said about attacking administrators.

    When I was in college I cared about what my peers thought and what my professors thought and if you asked me what some administrators in the Student Life office thought I would’ve drawn a blank.


    1. They should have been proud that a professor got published in a major newspaper instead of pitching idiotic fits.

      I also don’t believe that these – they aren’t really administration, they are what we call support stuff mostly – “woke folks” socialize the students a whole lot. But they have inordinate power to terrorize professors and actual administration. After our recent public discussion on Latinex, the dean turns around and runs away when he sees me in the hallways. Not because he disagrees with me but I’m sure because he’s terrified of the commissars.

      This isn’t about the students. Students are always easy to talk to and figure things out. It’s this bunch of unemployable idiots who have to justify their salaries with these “woke and stoked” initiatives and policing everybody’s speech.


  2. This seems less Soviet (unless very early, which I don’t know as much about) and closer, in scary ways, to the Chinese cultural revolution (during which young people were encouraged/forced/allowed to publicly humiliate those not in favor with the party).


  3. Two news articles caught my eye:

    FIRST regarding whether a state should go after parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

    Recent reported measles case sparks public debate about vaccines
    The death of a 1.5-year old toddler from measles brought public debate about vaccines to a boil; hundreds of children have already caught the disease; parents WhatsApp groups are buzzing and everyone is waiting for the government to decide: will parents be required to vaccinate their children?,7340,L-5389512,00.html

    SECOND showed me how American Jews have also caught the disease of “Forgive your murderers” posturing from mainstream partly Chrisitian culture.

    Jewish nurse treats Pittsburgh shooting suspect ‘out of love’
    Ari Mahler, a Jewish nurse who treated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect says that he saw ‘clear lack of depth, intelligence, and confusion’ in killer’s eyes; Mahler, who experienced anti-Semitism as a child, says he acted out of love.

    “I didn’t say a word to him about my religion. I chose not to say anything to him the entire time. I wanted him to feel compassion. I chose to show him empathy. I felt that the best way to honor his victims was for a Jew to prove him wrong,” Mahler said in the post.,7340,L-5389954,00.html

    Also note the emphasis on religion. I think the murderer couldn’t care less whether an ethnic Jew was religious or not.


  4. Loved this opinion column. You have written something similar in the past, so see you are not alone. Will check whether he has other good columns.

    The Central Challenge of the Age
    Do Democrats know what unites us?


  5. What I don’t understand is why certain people have the license to trample anyone whose views and demeanor they “don’t approve of”.
    Are such individuals some kind of civilian royalty? What makes these people so important? Why do THEY matter so much that one does not dare piss them off in any way?


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